Do NOT abandon your pet!
This is an extremely difficult time for everyone, but there is no reason to abandon your pets or harm homeless animals. There is no evidence that companion animals spread COVID-19. Abandoning your pet is illegal, won’t protect from COVID-19, and will cause more suffering. This is what the experts have to say –
The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human to human transmission.
To date, there is no evidence that companion animals spread the disease. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare. https://www.oie.int/en/scientific-expertise/specific-information-and-recommendations/questions-and-answers-on-2019novel-coronavirus/
To date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19. COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly. https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
Municipalities and Citizens should AVOID
The killing or removing of homeless animals by Municipalities, or enacting restrictions on owning or walking pets by Municipalities, or the abandoning of animals by citizens, can cause significant problems and suffering.
• Does nothing in stopping or slowing the spread of Coronavirus
• Wastes valuable resources that should be better directed in the fight against Coronavirus
• Gives a false sense of security and can result in real actions being taken less seriously
• Increase of random shooting or poisoning which leads to potential injury to people, unintended animals, and water sources
• A welfare concern for both owned and homeless cats and dogs
Municipalities and Citizens SHOULD
When dealing with animals Municipalities and citizens should refer to law 47/2017 for the Protection and Welfare of Animals.
• Ensure the welfare of all animals as improved welfare reduces possible concerns
• Recognize that the killing of homeless animals or abandonment of animals is illegal and punishable
• Communicate with other Municipalities that have taken a proactive approach in meeting their obligations under the Animal Protection and Welfare law
• Refer to the numerous authorities and bodies that can help with animal concerns including the Ministry of Agriculture, Veterinary services, Governorate, and non-governmental organizations 25 March 2020.
we will update this as new information becomes available.