MBI, please reconsider. Dogs do not transmit Covid19.

We refer to this report: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/04/11/animal-to-human-transmission-ipoh-council-rounds-up-strays-just-in-case

We urge and appeal to MBI (Ipoh City Council) to please reconsider their decision to capture street dogs because as far as research shows now, dogs do not transmit Covid19 to humans. It is vice-versa.

Therefore, it is unnecessary to round up street dogs for this purpose.

We also refer to this statement in the report: “He said city council was being proactive because they were not sure whether the virus could be transmitted from animals to humans.”

If city council is unsure, we urge you to refer to the press release by the Department of Veterinary Services, Malaysia on 7th April 2020: http://www.astroawani.com/berita-malaysia/covid-19-anjing-kucing-bukan-penyebar-virus-kepada-manusia-jabatan-perkhidmatan-veterinar-237208

This article is focused on dogs and Covid19: https://www.icam-coalition.org/did-dogs-really-play-a-role-in-the-origin-of-sars-cov-2/

It says:

Combining his claim of dogs as the likely mammalian intestinal host in which viral evolution could take place, with this need for isolation from humans for several years, he targets feral dogs. However this exposes a lack of understanding of dog population dynamics. Dogs are a domesticated species that have evolved alongside people. As a species, they are now entirely useless at sustaining their populations without human support; their mortality is extremely high and their breeding success extremely low. 

The populations of stray dogs that we see across much of the developing world are not feral; these are owned dogs allowed to roam, abandoned owned dogs or community dogs without a single referral household but still benefiting from care provided by people. Importantly, these surviving stray dog populations are not isolated from people, those that do become isolated from human support do not survive for long at all. Hence isolated feral dogs are a poor candidate for an intestinal host in which the ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 could have evolved, simply because these populations do not persist. 

The host that is finally identified as the origin of SARS-CoV-2 is far more likely to be a truly wild animal that can survive and breed for several years isolated from people, before the virus made its zoonotic transmission into people. From that point forwards this became a human disease and that is where our transmission risk lowering policies should focus, with people not dogs or cats.

The following links might be helpful too:

(1) https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3076480/coronavirus-hong-kongs-infected-dogs-were

(2) https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/pets/a31476524/can-dogs-get-coronavirus/

(3) https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/animal-health-and-welfare/covid-19

(4) https://wsava.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/COVID-19-An-Update-for-WSAVA-Members-April-3.pdf

Please reconsider your decision.

Thank you.

1 comment to MBI, please reconsider. Dogs do not transmit Covid19.

  • Judy Chua

    Thanks so much Kah Yein for your open letter to MBI. Its most distessing to see the innocent strays rounded up through no fault of their own.