The panic-stricken communities in China are willing to go to any extent to curb the infamous corona virus, but how far are we talking about?
China is known for its cruel behaviour towards animals. In the past years, the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, which takes place annually had been globally condemned for killing thousands of dogs, ruthlessly, for consumption. However, this time China has reached a new low.
The local communities and village officials have issued strict orders to get rid of their pets and threatened to kill them on sight as rumours have surfaced that animals may carry the virus, without any concrete proof.
Coronavirus- What’s the hype?
The deadly coronavirus outbreak emerged in the first week of December ’19 from the illegal wildlife trade market, mirroring the SARS pandemic in 2003.
Slave to old habits, China silenced authorities and chose secrecy in the first few weeks instead of notifying the residents, leaving them unaware of the dangers. This let the virus take a firm hold and spread easily, as there were no precautions adopted.
So far 14,380 people have tested positive whereas 304 have lost their battle against the virus. The superiors have issued instructions that the virus may spread easily by contact with animals.
‘Catch, Kill and Bury!’
Residents of Shanxi were given notices asking them to ‘consider the overall situation’ and do away with cats and dogs immediately.
Likewise officials in other province, Hubei and a neighbourhood near Wuhan have issued a ban on companion animals leaving the house. Pet owners are terrorized by statements asserting that any animal spotted on the road will be ‘caught, killed and buried away’.
Pigeon owners have also been warned against letting their birds fly or be prepared for a mass slaughter. People are not allowed to feed strays in order to contain the outburst.
Heart-wrenching deaths of animals are reported as people are throwing their own pets down from the balcony of their building. More than a dozen complaints are filed at the local police about such pets being found dead on the road.
A pet dog was thrown from the high towers in Tianjin city and another was found dead on the road, lying in his own blood. Not just dogs, but 5 cats were also killed in Shanghai in the same manner.
According to WHO, lack of evidence proves that the news of animals being infected is baseless and such extreme measures are unnecessary. Many specialists are against this approach and blame the wet markets of China for causing the epidemic.
‘This is not the right approach for local authorities in China to deal with the national crisis that can be traced to China’s out-of-control wildlife trade’, stated Dr Peter J. Li, China Policy Specialist of Humane Society International.
He also went on to say that companion animals did not contribute to the outbreak of SARS in 2002-2003 and they do not have anything to do with the Wuhan epidemic now.
Amidst soaring fear of pets being affected by the virus, sales of dog masks have risen rapidly. Owners have been advised to take care of their furry friends and keep a close eye for symptoms.
Pets suffering from the disease are expected to be quarantined by their owners to avoid risking others’ health, even though no particular case has been reported in any species yet.
Pets are like family, whom we share a bond with and love unconditionally. It is shocking to see people kill such innocent souls. Sadly, people are acting out of fear which is preventing them from taking the right measures. Instead of causing terror, communities must extend a helping hand while focusing on taking over the disease in a correct manner.
Image Credits– Google Images
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