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

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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

Snow Leopards In Afghanistan

Snow leopard in captivity UK - Photo by Daniel P Davis

It is nice to know that there is something pure, natural and nice in Afghanistan. It sure as hell is not going to be human though!

Wildcats are not confined to national boundaries as are people. That applies to the snow leopard.

The distribution of the snow leopard is very large and the ranges of the individual snow leopards are the largest of all the wildcats. They can be over 1000 sq kilometers. They need a lot of space and have found it in northern Afghanistan where they have found a degree of isolation from the ever dangerous human.

Apparently they inhabit the Wakhan region. The isolation plus a reduction in poaching for their skins (thanks to good conservation) has resulted in a surviving population in the area.


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Snow leopards are very elusive too. It is hard to see them, to find them. It is almost impossible.

The information for the existence of this population of snow leopards in Afghanistan comes from camera traps. These are cameras that are automatically fired off by a passing animal. Clearly they have to be well positioned and lots of patience is required. Although a person does not have to be present at the site of the camera it can take a long time for that all important photographic evidence.

The Wildlife Conservation Society estimate that there are between 4,500 and 7,500 snow leopards left in the wild across 12 Asian countries. This is a decent number by wildcat standards but nothing in relation to human populations.

See Habitat of Snow Leopard for lots more.

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Comments

Alyssa S said…
What type of climate do they live in?
Michael said…
High up. Cold. Snowy. Inhospitable. Bleak. Safe from people.

This page discusses the habitat of this beautiful wildcat, one of my favorites.
AlyssaSteffes said…
Oops I should have just clicked it up there! They are so beautiful though! I love cats.. these are just a little bit bigger.. and maybe a tiny bit more dangerous.. ha

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