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

USA: Upcoming Improved Airline Reporting of Pet Travel Incidents

The United States Transportation Department announced on Wednesday last that improved reporting processes will be put in place starting January 1 2015 with respect to pet transportations by airlines. As I understand it, more airlines will be obliged to report and the reporting data will include the number of flights that transport pets as well as the number of incidents thereby allowing people to assess the safety record more accurately.

Pet airline travel safety

Airlines will have to report the transportation of cats shipped by breeders (commercial shipments) in addition to what happens now, which is pets being shipped by owners.

Apparently more airlines are brought into the regulations because smaller airlines will be involved. The new rule places an obligation upon airlines to report on animals that are injured, lost or killed during transportation.  The number of carriers obliged to report has been expanded from 14 to 27.

Between May 2000 May 8, 2010 government statistics indicate that 122 dogs died while being transported by airlines by their owners as cargo.

Animal advocates had asked that the rules be extended further to include all animals, as I understand it, but I believe it was decided that it created too onerous task.

Apparently, Delta airlines has (or had) the worst record in respect of pet transportation incidents but it appears that they have cleaned up their act because Delta reported 16 pet deaths in 2010 and 2 in 2013.  However, in 2011 more than 50% of pets who died during airline travel, flew Delta.

The improvement is put down to restrictions on the transportation of cats and dogs with breathing problems due to their extreme anatomical features. I'm referring to pugs for example and the modern Persian cat. It seems that it is more difficult for a pet to breathe in the hold of an aircraft and if a cat already has some difficulties in breathing then the combination can prove fatal.


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