Three cats and a dog in the Netherlands have been diagnosed as having coronavirus, the farming ministry confirmed on Friday.
The three cats lived on one of the four mink farms where the virus has already been identified and the dog – an American bulldog – was owned by a man who had been diagnosed with the virus.
The cats were among 11 pets tested for the virus at the mink farms, all of which are located in Brabant province. All three were found to have antibodies in their systems, meaning they had had the virus.
The dog has been put to sleep because it development major breathing difficulties, the ministry said.
All four animals would appear to have been infected by humans and there is no evidence that pets can transfer the virus to humans, farm minister Carola Schouten said.
‘In all the cases involving infected animals which we have seen so far, the owners were first diagnosed and then the animals.’
However, pet owners who have been diagnosed with coronavirus should refrain from stroking and cuddling their animals, Schouten said. ‘Stay away from your dog or cat and ask someone else to take them for a walk,’ the minister said.
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