Doctors in Harbin, the capital of China’s northeastern Heilongjiang Province, euthanized three cats after their owner was admitted to a hospital with COVID-19, despite the owner’s objections, Chinese media reported on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, a Harbin resident hospitalized with a positive COVID-19 test said on social media platform Weibo that three of her cats, which remained in the apartment, underwent PCR tests and were confirmed infected, asking netizens to help save the pets.
However, the Harbin authorities did not react to the calls to save the animals and euthanized the cats on Tuesday without their owner’s permission, the Beijing News newspaper said.
The case is widely discussed among Chinese internet users, with the cat owner’s post on Weibo having received over 34,000 likes and more than 5,000 comments as of Wednesday.
In China, infected animals can be killed, if necessary, in accordance with the Law on Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases.