Pet cats killed in Chinese cities after COVID infection, causing social media anger

Beijing — Three pet cats that tested positive for the coronavirus were killed in Harbin, northeastern China, state media reported.

The cat’s owner was diagnosed with COVID-19 on September 21, and local disease control agencies euthanized her three cats.

“There is probably no specialized cure for animals infected with the new coronavirus,” a community worker said in an interview with Beijing News, explaining why the cat was killed.

Community workers said the cat would have left traces of the virus in the room.

Rachael Tarlinton, a professor of virology at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, said, “It seems unrealistic that cats are at risk of severely polluting the environment and their owners re-contracting COVIDs.” It is not the main route of viral infection.

Scientists say there is still no evidence that pets play a major role in spreading the virus to people.

“I strongly oppose this approach! Frankly, it’s a crude, simple and lazy form of management just to fend off responsibility,” a social media user posted on the Chinese version of Twitter, Weibo. Did.

The Beijing News report was removed from the social media channel on Wednesday. The outlet posted a commentary on Weibo on Wednesday calling on authorities to develop standards for how to deal with infected pets.

Feng Zijian, a researcher at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday’s report in Beijing News that pet cats should be killed if they repeatedly return positive results.

Vanessa Barrs, a professor at City University of Hong Kong, who specializes in animal health and illness, said the risk of transmission from infected pets to humans is low.

“So far, there have been no confirmed reports of cat-to-human transmission throughout the pandemic, unlike the situation in European farmed mink where COVID-19-infected mink-to-human transmission occurred.” She said.

“The situation is very different for pet cats and dogs, and other solutions can be implemented for animals.”

Beijing News Room