According to MailOnline, to reduce the spread of coronavirus, village officials in some Chinese cities have ordered citizens to get rid of pets, to stop keeping them or risk having them taken away.

As China tries different strategies to deal with the virus, some residential committees, companies and village officials in provinces have urged citizens to deal with their pets. Notices given to the MailOnline show orders from officials to dispose of dogs and cats immediately to prevent them from carrying the virus.

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According to the MailOnline, China’s expert on infectious disease said the pets would need quarantine if they were exposed to patients with coronavirus. The World Health Organization disputes any claims that the virus can be passed onto cats or dogs.

Dr Peter J. Li, China Policy Specialist of Humane Society International, told the MailOnline that the organization had seen memos about banning and killing cats and dogs. He told the MailOnline, “This is not the right approach for local authorities in China to deal with the national crisis that can be traced to China’s out-of-control wildlife trade. Companion animals did not contribute to the outbreak of SARS in 2002-2003. They do not have anything to do with the Wuhan epidemic.”

Coronavirus has been linked to a food market in Wuhan and is connected to the global wildlife trade. China has temporarily banned the wildlife trade as the virus continues to spread.

Click here to sign the petition to ban the wildlife trade for good.

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