Several countries have reported that the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can also infect animals, primarily felines and mustelids. The risk this poses to public health is currently considered negligible. The driving force behind the COVID-19 pandemic is, after all, transmission between humans. However, once this transmission has been sufficiently reduced, a virus reservoir in animals could pose a considerable threat. Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality has commissioned an extensive study on COVID-19 in domestic pets.
The research project
Various research groups, united within the Netherlands Centre for One Health, are collaborating on an interdisciplinary research project called “Fighting COVID-19 in animals and humans, a one health approach”. The project is coordinated by the Utrecht University Faculty of Veterinary Sciences.
The research results will serve as a scientific basis for the strategy developed by policymakers and stakeholders such as vets and animal owners on how to deal with animals during this pandemic.
Six partial studies
The research project is subdivided into six partial studies.