Speculations about mass animal euthanasia due to COVID-19 are false

Lately there have been widespread rumors that owners of cats and dogs have their pets put down, because they are scared to catch coronavirus from their pets. Zoonform hosted a poll on its Facebook page involving doctors and chief managers from over 500 veterinary clinics and another poll among 92 members of the Russian National Veterinary Chamber. Every surveyed responded that they have not yet heard of a single request to put a healthy animal down because of COVID-19 concerns. However, episodic euthanasia cases could definitely happen at a small veterinary clinic ‘next door’. Animal rights activists have been very vocal about such cases in mass media and on social networks. Pet businesses are deeply concerned about the situation. The rumors encouraged Vladimir Burmanov, the chairman of the Russian parliament committee in charge of ecology and environment protection, to respond. He talked on the matter during a Q&A session on his Instagram. Mr. Burmanov highlighted that every modern research rejects the possibility to contract coronavirus from a pet. WHO has not yet registered any cases of COVID-19 transmission from a pet to a human. Likewise, there is no confirmation that the virus can be spread through pets. Russian scientists confirm this notion. According to Russian Central Research Institute of Epidemiology, pets, including cats and dogs, cannot be the reason for new coronavirus cases.

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