Coronavirus pandemic is not caused or spread by pets

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Despite reports of a German Shepherd living on Hong Kong Island that tested “weak positive” during repeated examinations for the coronavirus, dying disease-free two days after it was released from quarantine, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) yesterday dispelled as “untrue” any suggestion pets could be the source of the pandemic.

Although the dog’s owner also tested coronavirus-positive, the NSPCA said it was “unconvinced that the dog had passed on the virus”.

Urging people not to abandon animals because of the Hong Kong incident, NSPCA executive director Marcelle Meredith said neither pets nor farm animals could pass on Covid-19 to humans.

“We concur with the World Health Organisation that there is currently no evidence that pets can be the source of the virus or that they can be sick from it.

“Amid all the panic caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus, the NSPCA calls on all owners of pets and farm animals not to abandon them out of fear that they could spread the disease.

“There should not be any worry about pets and farm animals due to the coronavirus.

“The assumption is that the virus, which emerged from China’s Wuhan city, originated from wild animals,” said Meredith.

She said no local veterinary clinics had yet reported to the NSPCA “coming across any animal in the country that has tested positive” for coronavirus.

The Citizen/Brian Sokutu