Comments made by a Chinese expert for infectious disease has increased the suffering of animals in China. Li Lanjuan, a member of the senior expert team from China's National Health Commission, had stated that animals exposed to COVID-19 patients would need to be quarantined. The World Health Organisation rubbished the claims, stating that there was no evidence of animals catching the virus. Government bodies have started to go door to door to kill pet dogs and cats.
Nanchong Missing Animal Aid Group shared a distressing video which showed the horrific number of pets culled by officials. Posting a video of the cruel campaign, the animal rescue group claimed that the drive was organised by the Communist Party Secretary of Longcan Town. The video showed the back of a truck stacked with bloodied corpses of dogs.
Another video posted on Weibo by an animal rights activist shows a masked officer touching a dog's corpse to check if it was dead. It is claimed that the officers went door to door and gathered all the dogs. They then proceeded to kill all of the pets.
Animal rights activists sent videos of stray dogs being beaten to death to the Daily Mail. The pet killing campaigns have been going on all over China, with reports of similar incidents coming from Chengdu and Wenzhou as well.
Li Lanjuan's misinformation that pets are susceptible to the virus as it "spreads between mammals" is causing the indiscriminate killing of animals. There is no evidence of the virus being transmitted to or from animals, the WHO clarified. As a precaution, the organisation asked pet owners to wash their hands after touching their animals to prevent bacteria from spreading. Some companies have even started selling specialised masks for pets.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) claims that the Chinese government is using the COVID-19 virus as an excuse for animal abuse. With more than 2,000 dead and 75,000 infected people, they are choosing to take any "precaution" to prevent viral infection. Animal rights organisations have implored the government to step in and halt the atrocities against animals.