Domestic cats and dogs may have to be vaccinated in the future against Covid-19 to protect people

This is a quick note but one worth making nonetheless. I think I can predict that in the long term, perhaps in about 18 months to 2 years time, governments in various countries, perhaps predominantly in the West, will be thinking about vaccinating companion animals as a second phase protective measure against Covid-19.  This is because there is a concern amongst some scientists that animals may create a reservoir for mutant variants of the Covid-19 virus. As the virus is zoonotic it can theoretically and actually be transmitted from animals to people and this must apply also to companion animals. Danish mink farmer with white mink due to be euthanised. Photo per credit Perhaps because of the general panicked nature of governmental responses to the coronavirus pandemic, not enough work has been done on this aspect of the spread of the disease. In addition nobody wants to alarm anybody which may lead to companion animal abuse. In fact, in China, at the outset of the pandemic, there were

Potential conflict of interest at animal rescue and shelter organisations

The objective of animal rescue and shelter organisations is to rescue cats. The objective of cat shelters is to shelter cats, to help and conserve. Killing cats at these shelters is the opposite to rescue.

Granted that sometimes there is simply no choice so cats have to be killed. But if there is a motivator in the background that takes the edge away from trying as hard as possible to save and re-home a cat, then there is a potential conflict of interest.

By a motivator I mean an agreement with someone or some organisation that might provide financial benefits to the shelter and under which the shelter is to provide dead animals.

Dead animals are resource. They have a value. That is obvious. In fact I would find it odd if animal rescue centers did not sell dead animals to someone because that will help fund the rescue center.

My thoughts are prompted by a story in the Times newspaper today which uncovers what I would describe as dubious practice at the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Apparently they have provided dead dogs to a research unit at the Royal Veterinary College who have carried out tests relating to respiratory disease on the dog's bodies. The dogs were dissected.

There is no evidence to suggest that the dogs were put down other than for the usual reasons - characters unsuitable for re-homing. That said who and under what criteria are dogs assessed for character? How scientific is the assessment?

If there is even the slightest of motivators to put the dog down over an attempt to re-home and assess the dog objectively, there must be a conflict of interest.

A conflict of interest is a serious matter as it goes to the heart of the operation of saving and re-homing animals.

The practice should stop immediately.

Michael Avatar

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Yvonne said…
I don't think this is a good example..especially from the UK. There is ALWAYS a more incidious conflict of interest which is to get cats out before they die..resulting in cats being rehomed to every Tom, Dick and Harry.

Also, the whole early spay/neuter thing is brought about largely because so many people don't neuter their pets, but is not regarded as sound practice world wide.

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