Authorities shot dead mistreated canines instead of rescuing them, because it would help stop spreading the deadly disease.
Bourke Shire Council thought it would be more convenient to cull several dogs, suspected of animal cruelty. This is because it would help animal shelter volunteers avoid being infected with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus in the Australian pandemic-affected state of New South Wales (NSW).
The overshadowing Office of Local Government (OLG) NSW confirmed volunteers no longer need to defy the statewide lockdown order by picking up the pooches.
“OLG has been informed that the council decided to take this course of action to protect its employees and community, including vulnerable Aboriginal populations, from the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” a representative said according to Fairfax Media.
The state-funded agency promised to investigate whether the canines were subjected to animal cruelty. It did not confirm exactly how many dogs were put down. BL understands one of the pooches was expecting to give birth to puppies.
Animal Liberation volunteers complained about the local government’s harsh decision. They claim they were fully prepared and already had pandemic safety measures in place.
There were no new locally acquired cases in Cobar at the time of publication. This was despite remnants of the virus being discovered in the area’s sewerage system.
“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,” regional campaign manager Lisa Ryan said according to the media outlet.
Left-leaning Greens Legislative Council Member Abigail Boyd believes it is rare for councils to kill dogs, because there is widespread community support for animal welfare.
“While the [center right] Liberal-National government twiddles its thumbs on animal welfare issues, more animals are being killed,” she said according to Fairfax Media. “Council pounds are paid for by local communities, and it is clear that shooting lost and unclaimed dogs housed in these publicly funded facilities falls far short of community expectations.”
OLG confirmed pounds and shelters were allowed to continue operating, and councils were asked to assist those services since July 30, 2021.
“Councils are also encouraged to continue to work with re-homing organizations and volunteers to care for animals, where that can be undertaken consistent with NSW Health advice,” a representative said.
The animal directive is up for renewal at the end of September, according to the Nine Network.
Harsh state government restrictions do not appear to be containing the deadly disease, after about two months of lockdowns.
Australia reported a total of 909 new CCP virus patients on August 23, representing a 261 percent increase on the beginning of the month. The national Department of Health confirmed infections were below 100 per day until mid-July.