The British government considered asking people with cats to euthanize their pet at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, believing that felines were at risk of transmitting the virus.
This was stated by former Minister of Health and Social Care, James Bethell, in an interview with Channel 4 News.
“What should not be forgotten is how little we understood about this disease. At one point, we didn’t really know if pets could transmit the disease, ”said the elected Conservative, whose remarks were reported by The Guardian.
“There was an idea at one moment that we may have to ask the public to exterminate all the cats in Britain.”
Former Health Minister Lord Bethell discusses the early government response to the Covid pandemic. pic.twitter.com/YWyp32zPML
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) March 1, 2023
The ministers had thus briefly discussed the possibility of ordering the extermination of all domestic cats in Great Britain, at the start of the pandemic, in 2020.
“There was talk at one point of asking the public to kill all the cats in Britain. Can you imagine what would have happened if we had wanted to do that?” Mr. Bethell said.
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“You shouldn’t kiss your cats”
In July 2020, at the height of the health crisis, cat owners were warned not to kiss their pets after a female Siamese became the first known animal in the UK to contract the disease, The Guardian recalls. .
Professor of virology at the University of Glasgow, Margaret Hosie, who led the screening program, advised cat owners at the time to “observe very strict hygiene”.
These same concerns have also arisen in Quebec and Canada.
However, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) concluded at the end of March 2020 that the risk of infection and disease was low in pets.
Leaked messages on WhatsApp
These revelations come after more than 100,000 WhatsApp messages were leaked regarding the management of the health crisis in the United Kingdom.
The messages include suggestions that Mr Hancock tried to circumvent Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to close schools in December 2020, the Daily Telegraph reports.
He also describes the teachers’ unions as “absolute bottoms”.
Also according to messages that have been made public, Mr Hancock is also said to have rejected the recommendation of England’s chief medical officer, Professor Sir Chris Whitty, to test everyone who entered the homes of care in England.
Hancock denies transgressing doctors’ advice.
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