China taking a more respectful and humane approach to domestic cats who might be infected with Covid

This is an op-ed about the news. I need to comment. On 13th November I wrote about Chinese health workers killing pets when their owners contracted Covid. It is described as a zero-tolerance policy. In truth it is a desperately cruel and inhumane policy, deeply tainted with immorality and ignorance.

RELATED: Chinese health workers “disinfect” an apartment by killing the owner’s dog with a crowbar!

Corgi dog brutally killed by crazed health officials in China to disinfect the dog owner's apartment. Image credit: see image.
Past stories of legalised animal cruelty. Corgi dog brutally killed by crazed health officials in China to disinfect the dog owner's apartment. Image credit: see image.

Well, there's a bit of good news in the online news media today. It comes from China Daily.com. They report on a story in which a woman contracted Covid. The family have a much loved and long-standing cat companion. The cat was not mercilessly killed as appears to be in happening in the past, but protected and treated with respect. I hope it lasts. Don't hold your breath 😇.

China is taking a very tough stance on Covid. In this instance the woman was taken into quarantine away from her home while her home was disinfected. And while that happened the family cat was put into a carrier and, I guess, removed from the home. They employed a person with knowledge of domestic cats to care for the cat during this process. The cat had been placed in the restroom for a few days apparently (isolation?) which is not great but far more satisfactory than killing him or her.

The story comes from the Gaoxin district of Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan province. They say that the cat was provided with a clean litter box, water and food after being tested for Covid. News got out that the cat was being treated well which pleased cat aficionados in China. But I guess it reminded them of the brutality of the alternative method.

There is a discussion in China, apparently, about how to deal with companion animals when their owners get Covid. The owner of the cat asked the health workers who were controlling her quarantine to check on her cat. It appears that an army of officials and health workers descended upon her home including the police, disinfecting experts and workers from the district CDC and subdistrict office! 

That's how serious the Chinese are dealing with Covid. I guess it has come about because of a fear of a fourth wave and increased infections which would stall economic growth something which the Chinese are incredibly passionate about to the detriment of the rest of the world!

A health worker said: "Prior to the visit, we contacted the patient's community first. In addition, because of our lack of knowledge in cats, we went specifically to a pet store and inquired for advice from the shopkeeper, and purchased cat food and cans."

That sounds very nice. That sounds great. It indicates a concern about animal welfare. We love to see that. That's the way it should be every time. Cats are family members. They are not objects to be slaughtered at the whim of some maniac health worker.

On a strictly legal basis, a lawyer in China has been helpful by saying that the law does not mandate that pets should be killed if there is a fear that they might carry Covid and infect others. The law on killing animals under these circumstances only applies to livestock and poultry. There are no regulations on how to deal with pets that are infected with epidemic diseases, he said.

The earlier story, therefore, about health workers killing cats and dogs indicates that these were rogue individuals breaking the law. Of course nothing will happen. They will not be punished for their cruelty but it is clear that there is no law which says that they can treat animals in that way.

It is also reported that Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou have taken a more scientific and reasonable approach in dealing with pets during quarantine since the beginning of this year. That, too, is great to hear.

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