BUSAN, Jan. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — Concerns about animal abuse and mistreatment are growing after a cat recently tested positive for COVID-19 in Jinju, South Gyeongsang Province where an infection was reported.
A female worker who is a so-called ‘cat mom,’ a person who provides food to stray cats, recently experienced an embarrassing moment.
When she tried to provide food to a stray cat, a neighboring resident interrupted to prevent her from doing so, saying that coronavirus-infected pets can pass on the disease to humans.
“The resident threatened me, saying I should get rid of the bowl and not provide food to stray cats,” she said.
An online community for pet owners has witnessed an increase in the number of comments regarding their concerns that society could unfairly stigmatize households with pets.
In fact, one restaurant posted a notice saying “Don’t give food like fried chicken to cats since it could have the risk of spreading the coronavirus.”
Some point out the possibility that the case of an animal testing positive for COVID-19 could lead to an increase in the number of pets abandoned by their owners.
When COVID-19 cases peaked in Wuhan, China in February 2020, some Chinese people abandoned their pets due to concerns that animals could pass on the virus to people.
Fortunately, however, scientists have since determined that the risk of animals passing the virus to humans is low.
“According to the World Organization for Animal Health, there have been no reported cases in which the virus spread between animals or pets transmitted the virus to people,” said Lee Hak-beom, a licensed veterinarian.
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)