UK health authorities considered ordering the euthanization of all pet cats in the country during the first COVID outbreak, it has been revealed.
Ex-Deputy Health Minister Lord James Bethell made the admission while trying to argue that governments were caught unawares in how to respond to the virus, remarking, “We shouldn’t forget… how little we understood about this disease.”
“There was a moment we were very unclear about whether domestic pets could transmit the disease,” he said. “In fact, there was an idea at one moment that we might have to ask the public to exterminate all the cats in Britain. Can you imagine what would have happened if we had wanted to do that?”
Bethell claimed that “for a moment” there was “a bit of evidence around” the idea after a Siamese cat became the first in Britain to contract COVID-19, but that the plan was “closed down” fairly quickly.
Cat owners were told not to kiss their pets and to observe “observe very careful hygiene” around them while keeping them indoors if a member of the household caught COVID.
“There was an idea at one moment that we may have to ask the public to exterminate all the cats in Britain.”
Former Health Minister Lord Bethell discusses the early government response to the Covid pandemic. pic.twitter.com/YWyp32zPML
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) March 1, 2023
Denmark subsequently ordered a cull of its mink population thought to be carrying the virus, although Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen subsequently had to apologize for the order, admitting it was illegal.
Bethell made the comments in light of the leak of tens of thousands of WhatsApp messages which shed light on the government’s botched response, which included the failure to carry out tests on all residents entering care homes.
Mandating people to kill their beloved pets would have almost certainly failed as a policy given that vast numbers of people would have refused to do so.
Killing pet cats was just one of numerous horrors almost visited on the British public in pursuit of a lockdown that went on to have a devastating impact and caused more harm than good.
As we previously highlighted, another proposal was to separate children from their parents and hold them in quarantine camps if they were infected with the virus.
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