CoronavirusVeterinary

BSAVA president comments on confirmed Covid-19 pet case

BSAVA President, Professor Ian Ramsey has commented on the Defra announcement of the first confirmed case of a pet cat infected with Covid-19 in the UK.

Earlier this week, The UK’s chief veterinary officer has confirmed that the virus responsible for Covid-19 has been detected in a pet cat in the UK.

The infection was confirmed following tests at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) laboratory in Weybridge on 22 July.

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Government officials said although this is the first confirmed case of an animal infection with the coronavirus strain in the UK, there is no evidence to suggest that the animal was involved in transmission of the disease to its owners or that pets or other domestic animals are able to transmit the virus to people.

Ramsey said: “A very small number of cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in pets worldwide and pet owners should not be unduly concerned. 

“If pet owners have any concerns about their pet, in particular if they are showing signs of respiratory or gastrointestinal illness, they should contact their vet who can advise them on the best course of action and decide if any testing is required.”

BSAVA said Defra’s announcement makes clear that there is “no evidence to suggest that the cat was involved in transmission of the disease to its owners or that pets can transmit the virus to people”.

Currently, all available evidence indicates that human-to-human transmission remains the primary means of spread of Covid-19 in the UK.

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