Almost 3 months after it was prepared UK government publishes scientific risk assessment of companion animals spreading coronavirus

Published on 12 June 2020 on the government’s website, is a risk assessment of companion animal causing onward spread of the coronavirus, which was prepared almost 3 months ago (23 March 2020)! Three months ago it was a different world. We knew much less about coronavirus than we do now. We are still learning which makes what the scientists say about coronavirus less than useful sometimes. The educated public are growing weary of the proclamations of scientists. They have scared the government into killing the economy.

Summary of the report. The top page.

I find the late publication of the report astonishing. One of the authors has been redacted out (they did not want their name attached to the report I guess which I can understand). I think the risk assessment is almost useless as it happens. The government admit that it out of date:

Therefore, some of the information in this paper may have been superseded and the author’s opinion or conclusion may since have developed.

Nonetheless I will pick out the key points because it is 15 pages long. The lack of knowledge of the scientists at the time it was prepared is made transparent at the beginning of the report when they say, “Human cases are expected to exceed several thousand..” The number of affected people as at the date of this post is almost 300,000. As I said times have moved on.

The scientist stated the risk assessment question which they have decided is the following:

In a situation where a companion animal has had household contact with a test positive SARS-CoV-2 person, what is the risk of the animal being exposed to the virus and what is the risk of onward spread of infection from the animal to other people or companion animals?

The other words they’re asking what are the chances of a cat or dog getting the virus from their owners and then if they get the virus what are the chances that the cat or dog will spread the disease to others.

They concluded as a form of risk assessment that the risk of exposure from infected humans is high but the onward spread from a cat or dog is low. They said that they are highly uncertain as to their conclusions. As I said, the report doesn’t really add much to our knowledge.

And remember they are referring to “the risk of exposure”. They’re not stating the risk of a cat or dog getting the disease conclusively from a person. They’re just simply stating that a dog or cat can be exposed by a person to the possibility of getting the disease and that risk is high. So what they’re saying in a round about way is that people have a lot of contact in terms of cuddles, petting and stroking with their cat or dog. That’s all they’re saying. Once again, as I said it’s a rather useless report.

Anyway, I think it needs to be reported on this website and if you want to read it in its entirety you can click on this link.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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