Sunday, September 27, 2020
 News Details
Misleading news about cats and dogs spreading COVID-19: PETA India

I am writing from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India – the country's best-known animal rights organisation – because some media outlets have spread false or misleading information about COVID-19 and the risk that community animals like dogs and cats could pose to humans in spreading the disease. This is resulting in cruelty to community animals and the abandonment of companion animals.

The World Organisation for Animal Health says, "The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human to human transmission. To date, there is no evidence that companion animals play a significant role in spreading the disease. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare."

The Animal Welfare Board of India, a government advisory body, issued this letter – posted on Twitter by MP Maneka Gandhi – to chief secretaries throughout India urging them to take steps to prevent the abandonment or abuse of animals out of unwarranted fear. And in an address to the nation, the Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated, "Due to the lockdown, animals are also facing trouble. I appeal to people to take care of the animals around them."

PETA India's webpage offering further guidance on this matter can be found here.

Community animals – including dogs, cats, cows, and buffaloes – are reliant on the mercy of kind people who give them food and water. With restaurants and many other businesses closed and most residents indoors, they have even less opportunity to obtain these necessities than before. We kindly request that your outlet encourage the public to heed Prime Minister Modi's advice and provide community animals in their area with food, water, and care.

Anyone who finds a community animal hurt or otherwise in trouble can contact our Emergency Response Team on (0) 98201 22602. PETA India works through a network of organisations to get animals the help they need.

Thank you for your time and attention. I can be contacted at [email protected]


Dr Manilal Valliyate, BVSc & AH, PGDM, PGDELP
Chief Executive Officer
PETA India

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