3 Cats Test Positive for COVID in Harbin, Euthanasia Given

On September 28, Ms. Liu, a confirmed local COVID case in Harbin (Heilongjiang province) who had been isolated in the hospital for several days, stated that the three cats she left at home got positive results twice in anal swab tests.

The community staff has asked Ms. Liu to sign a consent form, and allow the relevant epidemic prevention agency to euthanize the three cats.

The three cats have been with Ms. Liu for 4 to 6 years, she tried to ask for help on social platforms and strive for treatments to her cats, but without success.

Ms. Liu mentioned that, she was under quarantined since September 21. During her stay in the hospital, community staff would come to her home to help with the housework regularly. Community workers have been to her home for three times to test the living environment, and at the same time they tested her three cats.

“Since there is no precedent for pets to be treated, they told me that my cats would be euthanized, and I need to write a consent form by myself. I didn’t agree.” Ms. Liu hoped to get the cats a chance to be treated.

On the afternoon of the 28th, the staff of Ms. Liu’s community responded: “If the cat is not euthanized, the home living environment will stay positive, and Ms. Liu will not be able to come back in such case, it may even affect life of the entire community. Then the epidemic will never end.”

On the afternoon of the 28th, Feng Zijian, deputy director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, also made a comment: There is very little experience in handling animal infections with COVID. The time and method of detoxification for cats are temporarily unclear. If the cat continues to carry the virus, there will be a risk of transmission, so it is better to be cautious.”

And according to Article 42 of Law on Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases in China: Outbreaks of infectious diseases shall be dealt in accordance with the prevention and control plan. When necessary, infected wild animals, livestock and poultry may be controlled or culled.

Due to all the factors, Ms. Liu’s three cats were finally euthanized at 6:30 pm on the 28th.


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