A Preliminary Assessment of the Impacts of C-19 on Animal Welfare and Human-Animal Interactions in the UK and Beyond
32 Pages Posted: 27 May 2020 Publication Status: Preprint
One leading theory as to the origins of the current 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19, henceforth C-19) suggests emergence from a seafood and exotic animal ‘wet market’ in Wuhan, China and through the trade, slaughter and consumption of bats or even pangolin. Attributing the origin of this latest pandemic only to the illicit and unsanitary conditions of wet markets would miss the bigger picture. This pandemic, and other zoonotic outbreaks, invite us to carefully question the ways we think about, interact with and consume other animals more generally. This paper has drawn from recent publicly available news and online data sources to conduct a qualitative, cross disciplinary thematic analysis of the diverse impacts of C-19 to date on animal welfare and human-animal interactions in the UK but with global relevance. The diverse examples reviewed highlight areas where welfare might be compromised and allow for recommendations for mitigating such circumstances in the future.
Keywords: animal welfare, nonhuman animals, human-animal interactions, human wellbeing, zoonotic disease, C-19, lockdown
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