China – As the novel coronavirus spreads through China and beyond, people near the epicenter of the outbreak are in a panic. Adding to the panic is a recent comment by an expert at China’s National Health Commission that the virus can spread between mammals, and that pets should be kept in quarantine.
The expert’s comment has resulted in local authorities advising pet owners to “dispose” of their cats and dogs. Misguided pet owners have been throwing their cats and dogs from balconies, causing unnecessary suffering and death.
The World Health Organization has already stated that companion animals are not at risk of contracting the coronavirus and it has advised that they were not the source of the outbreak. Instead, the virus has been linked to the “exotic meat” trade at Wuhan’s open market and officials have temporarily shut the market down.
Please join us in asking for the National Health Commission for China to issue a directive to authorities across the nation to STOP mandating people to quarantine and/or kill their companion pets. Additionally, we are asking officials in China to permanently shut down the exotic meat markets that caused this deadly outbreak!
In late January, China temporarily issued a ban on the wild animal trade. At the particular “wet market” where the outbreak started, animals including koalas, bats, snakes, rats, deer and more were being sold for human consumption. We are asking the Chinese government to permanently shut these exotic meat markets down – they are inhumane and dangerous!
Now cats and dogs are paying the price for the outbreak that started because of “exotic meat” consumption. Panicked residents are throwing cats and dogs to their death. Local authorities, who are misinformed about what caused the virus, are mandating that people kill their pets – even though the World Health Organization has stated that cats and dogs are not a danger to society.
We want the National Health Commission for China to make a public statement that cats and dogs do NOT need to be quarantined and/or killed. We want the Ministry of Agriculture to put an end to the wet markets that are behind the current outbreak, and deadly viral outbreaks in the past. We will also be sending a letter to China’s National Health Commission.
Update 2/10/20: As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, China is increasing efforts to crack down on the exotic meat trade which is believed to be responsible for the deadly disease. These raids have resulted in the discovery of multiple wildlife markets which are selling raccoon, dog, eagle meat (and more!). China has temporarily put a halt to the sale of these so-called “exotic meats” but they must be permanently banned. It is unclear if the virus started from the consumption of bats, snakes or even from Pangolins, a mammal which is frequently poached and sold for “medicinal” purposes. Wildlife is suffering from these despicable markets, and now people around the world are paying the price as the virus continues to spread. These illegal markets must be found and shut down and the government needs to work on educating the public about the risks associated with the consumption of “exotic” meats from markets with no health and safety procedures in place.
Update 03/03/2020: China has mandated an end to the consumption of “exotic” meat.
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