Aussie racing dogs face quarantine over canine COVID-19 outbreak

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Melbourne: Racing greyhounds entering Australian’s Victoria state will now be subjected to a 14-day quarantine period in an effort to curb an outbreak of canine coronavirus, officials said.

The type of coronavirus present in dogs was not related to the current COVID-19 outbreak and it also cannot spread to humans, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday citing Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) as saying in a statement.

“It is expected that any greyhound entering Victoria is subject to a period of isolation or quarantine (recommended 14 days) prior to nominating to race at any Victorian track,” the statement added.

The disease was mild in most dogs, causing cold symptoms, vomiting, and diarrhea, however, it can be more serious in younger canines.

“Similar infections have also been reported in domestic dogs; pet dogs in contact with race dogs and pet dogs of racetrack kennel staff whose pets had no direct contact with any race dogs,” GRV said.

“The outbreak started in Western Australia in December-January, but has now spread to Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, New South Wales (suspected at this stage – not yet confirmed) and Victoria.”

Dog owners were advised to isolate any dogs showing symptoms and be vigilant with hygiene when cleaning kennels.

This development comes after the world’s first pet dog was infected with the coronavirus in Hong Kong.

The Pomeranian had tested ‘weak positive’ thrice.

March 5 (IANS)

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