ACCORDING to the PDSA, 51 per cent of adults in the UK own a pet, numbers having risen over the pandemic as people denied human contact look for companionship. There are 9.6million dogs (including mine) and 10.7million cats.
As you know, our caring friends in Sage maintain a close watch over all our domestic arrangements. They now reveal that a programme to vaccinate or cull pets is under ministerial consideration. One of their recent reports offers an insight into their thinking on animals and describes ‘hypothetical scenarios by which SARS-CoV-2 could further evolve and acquire, through mutation, phenotypes of concern’.
This is Sage turning over new psychological ground to seed yet more misery and fear. It fits into their fake narrative that SARS-CoV-2 is naturally occurring and therefore, like other zoonotic coronaviruses, able to cross from animals to humans in a cycle of infection and reinfection. They argue that if the virus finds animal hosts that are in close contact with people that this may lead to more variants.
In this they are correct, but as usual, highly selective. Their rush to ‘vaccinate’ may in fact be increasing the risk and rate of viral variants as ‘an imperfect vaccine can lead to “highly virulent pathogens” and vaccines that keep the host alive but still allow transmission . . . allow[ing] virulent (hotter) strains to circulate in a population’. according toa peer-reviewed paper published in 2015.
The paper’s authors, from the Pirbright Institute and Penn State University, concluded that ‘anti-disease vaccines that do not prevent transmission [leaky vaccines] create conditions that promote the emergence of pathogen strains that cause more severe disease in unvaccinatedhosts’, including pets.
Nearly all ‘traditional vaccines’ prevent such transmission and block the opportunity for viral evolution towards increased virulence. A vaccine that leaks – as apparently all Covid-19 jabs do – allows at least some pathogen transmission (viral shedding), creating the ecological conditions for more ‘hot strains’ to emerge.
The long-term risk of SARS-CoV-2 in other species is that if the virus starts circulating in them, naturally or from leaky vaccines, the risk of more virulent variants increases. Sage’s recommendation is ‘targeted surveillance for reverse zoonoses, and if necessary, consider animal vaccination, slaughter, or isolation policies.’
Last year the BBC reported ‘mild symptoms’ of Covid-19 in lions and tigers in zoos and infected mink were culled in the Netherlands and in Denmark as a preventive measure.
Mick Bailey is Professor of Comparative Immunology at the University of Bristol. Writing in The Conversation, he asks what will happen if a more lethal coronavirus emerges in pets? He cites evidence from Wuhan that cats have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and can infect other mammals.
Like Sage, Professor Bailey worries that there is a risk of people and domestic animals transmitting Covid -19 to wildlife, creating a disease reservoir that would be almost impossible to control.
He warns that in the future it is likely that vets will be required to provide swab samples from pets with respiratory symptoms and report their owners on new government test and trace systems. He confirms that such monitoring and surveillance programmes are already in development, funded by government agencies such as UK Research and Innovation and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
It is almost certain that Sage will call for the mass vaccination of pets against Covid. The existing global animal vaccines market is huge, estimated at $9.2billionin 2020.
In spring 2021, Russia announced that it had registered the world’s first animal-specific jab, ‘Carnivak-Cov’, and was vaccinating pets, according to the RIA news agency. The US pharmaceutical company Zoetis is in ‘advanced talks’ with the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to license a mink vaccine, which it plans to adapt for dogs and cats.
Last year, William Karesh, executive vice president at Eco Health Alliance, a US organisation which monitors animal diseases worldwide and is now notorious for having Dr Peter Daszak – he of ‘US funding of gain of function’ research – as its president, said: ‘Cats and dogs don’t play an important role in the maintenance or transmission of [Covid] to humans. There’s no need for a [veterinary] vaccine from a public health standpoint.’
Sadly, just because there is no established health need does not mean that pharmaceutical companies will not go after any lucrative new profit line.
The ‘Holy Grail’ that Big Pharma seeks is a universal coronavirus vaccine, which applies not only to SARS-CoV-2, but can be used on any ‘new viral cousin’ and injected into any creature that flies, swims, crawls or walks on earth.