US health and human safety officials said on Friday they were “concerned” about the deaths of at least 11 dogs and cats found at a New York hospital.
In a statement, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the dogs andcats were “alive” and had been tested for drug-resistant coronavirus.
“These cases are an important reminder that drug-resistance in animals is a serious problem, and we call on public health authorities to act quickly to halt this spread and stop these deaths,” the statement said.
“Our investigation suggests the animals may have died from the drug-preventable coronaviruses.”
Officials were still working to identify the cause of death and how the dogs were killed.
The animal deaths come at a time of heightened scrutiny over the coronaviral pandemic in the US, where people are increasingly searching for answers about the mysterious illnesses that are plaguing the country.
The death toll from the coronamidase-19 (COVID-19) outbreak is increasing in some states, with a number of deaths reported in Minnesota, Florida and Texas.
In Washington, US President Donald Trump, who has vowed to curb the spread of COVID-21, has repeatedly urged people to stay away from pet owners and pets who may have been exposed to coronavids.
Earlier this month, the president called the spread “totally out of control” in the country, saying he was concerned that some of the cases could have been spread by pet owners.
On Friday, the White House said that the president had called for the “absolute and complete shutdown of all pet shops and animal breeders” in response to the deaths.
“As the president said, it is time for a complete shutdown and an end to the pet trade,” the White, House said in a statement.
“The pet trade has become the single biggest financial engine of the US economy, and now we need to get it shut down completely.”
“The president also said he is calling for the establishment of a new nationwide coronavid control plan.
He is calling on pet owners to report any cases they may have to the federal government.”
The US government has already stepped in to stem the spread by banning pet owners from sharing their pets with strangers and limiting pet visits.