One country’s COVID-19 restrictions are so strict that a local government interpreting the rules thought it was necessary to put down several rescue dogs.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, a rural council in New South Wales — an Australian state on the eastern side of the continent — recently shot to death several dogs that a shelter was set to rescue. This has resulted in a government probe as well as backlash from animal rights activists.
The Bourke Shire Council’s Office of Local Government said that the council had ordered that the dogs be killed in order to prevent some volunteers from Rural Outback Respite/Rescue, a local animal shelter, from traversing to picking up the animals in mid-August.
An OLG spokesperson said the council had chosen to take the action in order to “protect its employees and community, including vulnerable Aboriginal populations, from the risk of COVID-19 transmission.”
The spokesperson added that the agency was investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident and was looking at whether the council had broken companion animal and cruelty prevention laws.
The agency had issued guidance to the councils regarding the operation of pounds during the outbreak of COVID-19 that included procedures to ensure the services could continue in a way that kept volunteers and staff safe.
As of July 30, the agency had ordered that shelters and pounds could stay open to the public.
A source “familiar with the arrangement” told the Morning Herald that the volunteers had COVID-safety measures already in place for when they would handle the dogs — one of which was a new mother.
New South Wales Health said there had not been any “locally acquired COVID-19 cases” in the area, but “fragments of the virus” had been found in the local sewage system.
In response to the report, Lisa Ryan of the animal rights group Animal Liberation called for an immediate investigation.
“We are deeply distressed and completely appalled by this callous dog shooting and we totally reject council’s unacceptable justifications that this killing was apparently undertaken as part of a COVID- safe plan,” she said.
This is a pretty heartless thing to do.
The bottom line is that these dogs were unnecessarily killed — strictly due to a fear of COVID-19 and worry over potentially violating government protocols.
As The Western Journal previously reported, at least here in the U.S., while new COVID cases seem to be on the rise, the case-fatality rate has actually decreased. The moving average of COVID deaths is 0.80-percent while the seven-day rolling average is 3.12 deaths per million people as of Aug. 23
While many people in power are eager to use COVID-19 to yet again implement restrictions, it is important to keep the numbers in mind and make sure that the responses to the pandemic are measured and suggestive in nature rather than mandatory.
We cannot allow ourselves to get to a point where we are forced to euthanize dogs out of fear of government protocols.
Luckily, craziness such as this has not yet reached the United States. However, if power-hungry bureaucrats are not kept in check, similar things could be in store down the road.
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