Risk of animals contributing to COVID spread very low, Malta Veterinary Association says

Malta Veterinary Association says research indicates the main route of transmission for COVID-19 remains human to human 

File Photo
File Photo

Research shows the probability of animals contributing to the spread of COVID-19 is still low, the Malta Veterinary Association. 

The association said the species with the highest risk of contracting COVID-19 are felids. Felids are a family of mammals colloquially referred to as cats.  

“In experiments hamsters have also been infected, however none of these animals were infected naturally from their owners,” the association said.  

The risk of transmission from human to dog is low. 

The veterinary association said there have been reported cases of infection between animals.  

“These involved fur farm animals and not companion/pet animals. Such farms are not present in our territory,” it said. “The main route of transmission remains human to human.” 

On precautions for pet owners, the association stressed it is important to practice good hand hygiene around animals.  

“This is especially true if handling someone else’s animals. Keep cats indoors and limit or prevent roaming in the streets,” it said.  

The association warned that owners should not put masks on their pets. “Be very careful on what products to use on your pet’s skin – do not wipe them with alcohol or other products such as hand sanitizer, wipes that are used for surfaces or other surface disinfectants. Pets tend to lick these products off them which can result in poisoning.”