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COVID-19 and Animals in Canada

March 17, 2020

Animals in Canada

There is currently no evidence to suggest that this virus is circulating in animals in Canada.

It is possible that some types of animals can be infected with COVID-19, but there is no evidence that pets or other animals can spread the virus. There are still many unknowns about COVID-19 and this is an area that remains to be studied and understood.

Until we know more, if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have a pet or other animal:

  • avoid close contact with them
    • do not snuggle or kiss them, or let them lick you, sit on your lap, or sleep in your bed
  • practise good cough etiquette
    • avoid coughing and sneezing on your animals
  • have another member of your household care for your animals
    • if this is not possible, always wash your hands before touching or feeding them
  • limit your animal's contact with other people and animals
    • this may mean keeping them indoors

To date, there have not been any reports of livestock being infected by COVID-19 anywhere. However, livestock producers should follow normal biosecurity measures as always. This includes limiting visitors or workers who may have travelled to, or been in contact with, someone from an affected area. For more information on-farm disease prevention, producers are encouraged to consult the:

These recommendations will be updated as more information becomes available.

Animals in or from other countries

Although the current spread and growth of the COVID-19 outbreak is primarily associated with spread from person to person, experts agree that the virus likely originated from bats and may have passed through an intermediary animal source (currently unknown) in China before being transmitted to humans.

It is recommended that individuals who travel to an affected country or region avoid contact with animals, including wild meat and wet (live animal) markets.

If you are considering travel, check the latest travel health notices for the most up-to-date travel advice prior to travelling.

All animals entering Canada must meet import requirements set out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. There are currently no specific requirements in place in Canada restricting animal importation related to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is because as there is no evidence that pets or other domestic animals can spread the virus.

However, until we know more, importers, rescue organizations and adoptive families should consider limiting or postponing importing animals from affected areas. If animals are imported from an affected area:

  • they should be closely monitored for signs of illness
  • you should contact a veterinarian if they become sick
    • call ahead to ensure they are aware of the circumstances

Find more and updated information here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html