BVA responds to stray dogs study regarding Covid-19 crisis

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has released a statement regarding a paper published in Molecular Biology and Evolution that puts forward a hypothesis that stray dogs may have been the origin of SARS-CoV-2.

In a statement released on the BVA website, Daniella Dos Santos, BVA president said: “This research is purely theoretical and the author himself notes that there is no evidence to date of dogs being able to replicate or shed the virus that causes Covid-19.  

“We would urge extreme caution in interpreting it as anything more than a reminder that work is ongoing to consider the origins of the virus. A very small number of cases have been identified globally of dogs testing positive for Covid-19, and these are likely to be caused by human to animal transmission.”

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She added: “Pet owners should continue to follow Government advice on caring for their pets during the pandemic.”

The news comes as the BVA and BSAVA released a joint statement on their latest coronavirus guidance.

The groups said that they are committed to supporting one another and “working together to provide leadership” to benefit those in the veterinary sector as it “navigates these very difficult and uncertain times”. 

It said that whilst both teams are working “at pace and under pressure”, there has recently been “some misunderstanding in our communications with one another and we regret that this has caused confusion amongst our members”.

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