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

National

Deer farmer's roaring success

Southland elk farmer Tom May is no stranger to producing top quality velvet and believes that his Mayfield Elk Farm,…

The beginning - not end!

After seven years, the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) came to an end on 31 March, yet chair Malcolm Bailey…

Machinery & Products

SIAFD wins punters' plaudits

After celebrating its 70th year last month, it looks like the South Island Agricultural Field Days (SIAFD) has hit its…

Opens up blindspots

Traditionally blind spots caused by large buckets or front mounted loads on wheeled loaders have been a major safety concern.

She's one big feeder

Feeder specialists Hustler has released a maxi-sized multi-feeder aimed at large scale farms in New Zealand and further afield.

Roots out problems

Austrian manufacturer Pöttinger has introduced the new Durastar narrow share for its Synkro and Synkro-T, mounted stubble cultivators.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Blue murder

OPINION: Your old mate recently read an off-the-wall suggestion, by some boffin, that deliberately staining meat blue will lead to…

Foot in mouth - again!

OPINION: This old mutt reckons Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor too often suffers from 'foot in mouth' disease.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter