Authorities in Tran Van Thoi District, located in the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau, stated that the recent culling of 15 dogs and one cat after their owners tested positive for COVID-19 was necessary due to pressure for pandemic prevention and from local residents.
The Tran Van Thoi People’s Committee organized a press meeting on Sunday evening to provide information on the incident.
At around 10:30 pm on Friday, authorities in Khanh Hung Commune, Tran Van Thoi District received a group of seven people, along with 15 dogs and a cat, returning from a virus-hit area.
All of the individuals and their pets were taken to a concentrated quarantine facility at Khanh Hung High School.
The seven people later had their samples collected for both rapid and real-time RT-PCR COVID-19 testing.
During the process, many people at the quarantine center did not agree to let the dogs run around the premises due to problems related to hygiene, safety, and pandemic prevention and control.
The owners were thus asked to tie their pets to a tree to better manage them.
As the rapid test results of five out of the seven individuals came back positive for the novel coronavirus, they were required to stay in a room that was separate from the other two.
The dogs later slipped off leash and began running around the facility again, thus the owners had to put them in bags and baskets and placed them in front of their rooms.
People in the quarantine facility, as well as residents living around continued expressing their concern that the dogs might run to the nearby residential area, posing high risk of COVID-19 transmission.
At 7:30 am on Saturday, the management board of the quarantine center had to cull the dogs and cat, and the process was witnessed by many people inside the venue as well as local residents.
At 2:40 pm the same day, the RT-PCR test results of the five individuals came back positive, thus they were transferred to Tran Van Thoi General Hospital for treatment.
|The dogs and cat are culled at the quarantine center in Tran Van Thoi District, Ca Mau Province, October 9, 2021 in this supplied photo.|
Tran Tan Cong, chairman of Tran Van Thoi District, claimed that the culling was necessary to ensure pandemic prevention and control, adding that the management board was also under pressure from people at the quarantine facility as well as local residents.
"If we had had better management capacity, we could have isolated the pets, disinfected them, and monitored them carefully," Cong admitted.
"The animals should have been culled only when they had been confirmed to be infected with the disease."
In the prevention and control of COVID-19, ensuring people’s health and preventing cross-infection in quarantine facilities are the top priorities, the chairman continued.
The health ministry has also advised that COVID-19 patients should not come into close contact with their pets, he added.
Competent authorities are encouraging the owners of the dogs and cat to focus on their COVID-19 treatment.
Following their recovery, the administration in Khanh Hung Commune will further discuss with them regarding this incident.
According to previous reports, the families of Pham Minh Hung, 49, and Nguyen Duy Khanh, 39, traveled from southern Long An Province to Ca Mau Province on their motorbikes on Friday.
Hung and Khanh worked as masons in Long An, but their livelihood was negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two families brought along 17 dogs, including 13 puppies, and one cat. They later gave away two of the pups.