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China city reconsiders plan to kill all house pets of COVID patients

·1 min read
Yuliya Paska / EyeEm—Getty Images

Four months after reports spread that China was killing dogs and other house pets in pursuit of its COVID-zero goal, another Chinese city has, at least temporarily, ordered the euthanizing of all indoor pets belonging to COVID-19 patients.

The northern city of Langfang issued the order earlier this week, according to the state-run China News Service (via Weibo).

“In order to ensure the safety of positive patients returning home, after communicating with the Langfang City Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is necessary to comprehensively and thoroughly kill the animals domesticated by positive patients as soon as possible,” the order read.

But China News Service reported that any action tied to the order has stopped, following outcries from citizens. There is no information on how many animals were killed, if any.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has previously reported that the risk of pets spreading COVID-19 to people is low.

The house pet guidance in Langfang is not the first time that animals have been targeted in the pursuit to eradicate COVID. In January, Hong Kong rounded up and killed over 2,500 hamsters over fears that the pet rodents were spreading the virus. Later, a hamster blamed as being the cause for an outbreak did not actually have the virus, allowing it to escape euthanasia.

China has taken an especially hard-line approach to COVID, with multi-week lockdowns and the shutdown of factories, which has further impacted supply-chain issues around the world.

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com