February 27th 2020

WSAVA Issues Guidance to Vets for the Coronavirus

Following the spread of the Coronavirus, the WSAVA (The Global Veterinary Community) has prepared an advisory document to help members in how to discuss the matter with their clients who may be concerned as to the risk of infection. 

Whilst the document confirms that no evidence exists that pets or other domestic animals can be infected with 2019 n-CoV or that they may be a source of infection to people, its purpose is to help reassure the public in regards to the outbreak. 

The outbreak, warned as a ‘rapidly evolving situation’, is being monitored by the organisation which will update its guidelines should the need arise. Chairman of the WSAVA’s One Health Committee, Michael Lappin recommends that vets tell owners to:

  • Keep their companion animals with them if they are self-quarantined
  • Keep cats inside
  • Arrange care for any animals left at home if family or friends are hospitalised
  • Contact their vet immediately if they have questions or concerns

Reassuringly for animal owners, WSAVA president Shane Ryan said: ‘There is still much we don’t know about 2019-CoV and, while the priority is to bring the outbreak of the infection caused to people under control as soon as possible, we are concerned for animal welfare, with reports of animals being abandoned or killed because their owners fear they might carry the virus.’ 

What’s more, he stressed that, ‘There is no evidence that this is necessary and we urge our members to ensure owners follow our guidance, and keep themselves and their companion animals safe.”

For more information and to access the guidelines directly, please visit the WSAVA website.

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