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WSAVA issues reassurance for pet owners following death of dog in Hong Kong
The WSAVA states that its priority is supporting veterinary surgeons around the world.

'No evidence that COVID-19 can be contracted from pets'

The WSAVA wants to reassure pet owners following the news that a dog, quarantined in Hong Kong after testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, has died.

The 17-year-old Pomeranian showed no clinical signs of COVID-19. But did have significant, unrelated health problems including cardiac and renal issues. It is believed that a combination of these issues and old age caused the death of the animal, as well as increased stress resulting from quarantine away from its home.

In a statement, the WSAVA confirmed that there is no evidence that the dog contracted COVID-19, nor that it could have passed the viral cause to another human or animal.

On 19 March, the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) announced that a second dog, a German shepherd, had also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. This animal has no clinical signs of disease and is in quarantine along with another dog from the same household, which tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

WSAVA President Dr Shane Ryan said: “While there is still much we don’t know about COVID-19, we do know that the Pomeranian dog did not die from the virus, and the second dog is also showing no signs, either of the disease or of being able to transmit it to other pets or people. The current evidence still strongly indicates that COVID-19 cannot be contracted from pets.”

The WSAVA states that its priority is supporting veterinary surgeons around the world and it urges pet owners not to panic and, instead, to continue to care for their pets and to take solace in their companionship while isolated.

The WSAVA’s Scientific Committee and One Health Committee have provided advice to its members and pet owners, which can be found here.

These committees recommend that veterinary surgeons remind owners to:

  • keep their pets with them if they are self-isolating
  • maintain good hygiene habits, including washing hands before and after interacting with pets
  • arrange care for any animals left at home should they be hospitalised
  • contact their local veterinary practice immediately if they have questions or concerns.

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BEVA gives vets access to free membership for three months

News Story 1
 BEVA has announced that it is cutting membership renewal charges for the next three months in order to support all veterinary professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Memberships for all existing BEVA members will be extended until 30 June 2020. Veterinary professionals who are not members of BEVA will also be able to sign up for a free membership until 30 June 2020.

BEVA president Tim Mair said: "In this extraordinary time of global crisis our profession, as with many industries, is under immense pressure. By offering free membership we are giving equine vets easy access to a wealth of supportive resources and online CPD."

To sign up please visit the BEVA website.

Image (c) BEVA. 

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LOVE Gorgie Farm seeking veterinary volunteers

LOVE Gorgie Farm in Edinburgh is looking for people with veterinary and animal care experience, who would be interested in volunteering to help care for its animals during these difficult times.

The community-owned charity farm opened to the public only last month, but decided to close temporarily amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Its three-person team is working to care for the animals behind the scenes and the farm is now operating as a food bank for the public, delivering free breakfasts to local school children.

In an effort to build a contingency plan to secure the welfare of its animals, LOVE Gorgie Farm is looking for volunteers who would be able to step in if any team members fell sick or needed to self-isolate.

Those interested in volunteering are asked to contact gorgie@l-o-v-e.org.uk