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

World Popularity of Trap Neuter Return

The map below shows the attitudes of different countries towards using trap-neuter-return (TNR) to control feral cat populations. It is based on my feelings acquired from reading a good amount on the subject.

Blue=poor/not considered TNR, Red=Good TNR,
Orange=Average/Poor TNR, Pastel Blue=Poor TNR

This is not a map based on hard science. It can't be because there is not enough hard science on TNR yet. Also it is very generalised. It is probably slightly controversial.

TNR is still a developing method of controlling feral cat populations. In some countries there is a blurring of the demarcation between domestic, stray and feral cats. The feral cat is accepted in some countries. TNR is therefore not considered because the need to control feral cat populations is not considered. These countries have not developed to the point where TNR is referred to.

Also in cooler European countries the feral cat is hardly visible (England, Germany). Therefore there is not a pressing need to control the feral cat population. However, it would seem that the old, developed countries have developed TNR more. This is to be expected. I refer to European countries. Holland has an excellent approach for example. And some of the earliest TNR program studies come from England.

There is a tug of war on the efficacy of TNR in some younger developed countries. The argument swings between killing and more humane techniques. North America falls into that bracket I believe but tends to decide upon TNR as the preferred method. Conversely Australia tends to favour killing in this battle between humane and cruel controls. I would expect the USA and Australia to come around to the TNR way of thinking in due course. Israel falls into the middle ground as well.

Japan and Hong Kong have barely got of the ground on developing TNR. However Japan has good animal welfare laws.


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