- One village in Hebei urged households to ‘deal with’ their pets within five days
- Another committee in Shaanxi demanded locals dispose of pets immediately
- China’s top expert suggested that pets might also be infected by the new virus
- But WHO claims it has not seen evidence that cats and dogs can get the disease
The news came as China‘s top expert for infectious diseases warned that pets would also need to be quarantined should they be exposed to coronavirus patients, causing fears that animals could also catch the disease.
The World Health Organisation, however, claims that it has not seen any evidence of the virus being passed onto cats or dogs.
In Wuhan, the ground zero of the coronavirus outbreak, one neighbourhood banned its residents from letting their cats, dogs and livestock leave their homes. In a flyer posted in the community, local officials threatened to catch, kill and bury the animals on the spot if they see any.
While the authority of one residential complex in Shanghai forbade its residents from feeding stray animals to ‘enforce the control and prevention of the epidemic’, a separate document reads.
Similar commands have appeared in provinces and municipalities across the country, including Beijing, Tianjin, Shandong, Heilongjiang, Hebei, Wuhan, Shanxi and Shanghai, according to animal welfare organisation Humane Society International.