A council in Australia killed dogs that had been rescued to prevent readily-available volunteers from helping out and risking spreading Covid.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that an animal shelter in Cobar was planning to pick up the rescued dogs from New South Wales. However, the Bourke Shire Council of New South Wales interpreted Covid rules to mean that it was more humane to kill the dogs than risk human interaction that could potentially spread the virus.
The Office of Local Government released a statement saying, “OLG has been informed that the council decided to take this course of action to protect its employees and community, including vulnerable Aboriginal populations, from the risk of COVID-19 transmission.”
Despite this statement, they also said they would be looking into the matter to find out if the council had violated any companion animal and cruelty prevention laws. Cobar, the city where the animal shelter, Rural Outback Respite/Rescue, is located had no new cases of Covid at the time.
Even still, volunteers had strong Covid preparedness and safety measures in place. Lisa Ryan, the regional campaign manager for Animal Liberation demanded an urgent investigation, saying, “We are deeply distressed and completely appalled by this callous dog shooting and we totally reject [the] council’s unacceptable justifications that this killing was apparently undertaken as part of a COVID- safe plan.”
The dogs’ shooting has spread quickly on an international level, sparking outrage among people across the globe. Animal activists are upset about the news and urging their own governments not to kill rescue animals now or ever.