Monday, 23 March 2020 11:51

Vets offer COVID-19 advice

Written by  Staff Reporters
Dr Helen Beattie. Dr Helen Beattie.

The New Zealand Veterinary Association has some advice for animal owners amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The association representing New Zealand veterinarians says COVID-19 should not reduce the care owners give to their animals’ health and welfare.

"We appreciate there are many issues that people are dealing with in relation to COVID-19, particularly those self-isolating or with family members taking this precautionary measure," says New Zealand Veterinary Association chief veterinary officer, Dr Helen Beattie. 

"We would like to re-assure New Zealand animal owners that, despite a second dog in Hong Kong testing positive for the COVID-19 virus, there is currently no reliable evidence that animals are playing a role in the widespread transmission of the disease between humans or other animals.

"We are being guided by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA). Both dogs that tested positive were living with people affected by COVID-19. 

There have been no clinical signs reported in the dogs, and the positive tests are likely due to the animals being contaminated by their owners. 

OIE and WSAVA recommend owners affected by COVID-19 take similar precautions in interacting with their animals, as they would with people during this time - physical distancing as much as is practical, which limits possible virus transfer, and good hygiene practices.

"They should limit close contact with their pets and maintain high standards of hygiene, such as washing hands before and after interacting with their animals. 

"There is certainly no justification for abandonment, euthanasia, or any measures that might compromise animal welfare, in the light of the outbreak of COVID-19."

Beattie says people to act responsibly towards their veterinary team during this time.

"We have heard of clients that should be self-isolating turning up at veterinary clinics with their animals. This is unacceptable and puts the profession at risk. We implore anyone affected by COVID-19 or self-isolating - call your clinic first if your animal needs urgent veterinary care. This allows the staff to make an appropriate plan, whilst lowering their exposure risk.

"We need the veterinary profession to stay healthy during this time. Risking the health of your veterinary staff risks their ability to provide effective care for everybody’s animals." 

More like this

Hort raring to go

Horticulture New Zealand says the findings of the survey confirm that the sector will help drive New Zealand’s post-Covid recovery.

Featured

 

Being a good boss during calving

Despite it being a busy time, being a good boss during calving is absolutely achievable, says DairyNZ’s People Team leader Jane Muir.

SFOTY in hot water over social media posts

Organisers of the NZ Dairy Industry Awards are investigating unsavoury social media comments allegedly made by the newly crowned 2020 Share Farmer of the Year, Nick Bertram.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Fat chance

OPINION: This old mutt has always believed that any hopes of a possible free trade deal – that is any…

Health & safety?

OPINION: WorkSafe and workplace safety legislation dominate the daily operations of the private sector, including farms.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Popular Reads

Honda to quit ATVs in Aus

Honda Australia has signalled it will stop selling quads/ATVs in that country as the discussion about the effectiveness of Crush…