Dogs from self-isolating homes should be kept on lead, says Scottish Government

Holyrood urging all animal owners to plan ahead

Dogs from households which are self-isolating should be kept on the lead in public, according to new guidelines from the Scottish Government.

It is urging all animal owners to plan how they would care for them if they had to self-isolate.

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The Scottish Government said that currently there is no evidence that livestock or companion animals such as dogs and cats can be infected with coronavirus.

Dog owners self-isolating at home are being urged to keep their pets on a lead if out walking them.

However, dogs from self-isolating households should not be let off the lead while in public and people exercising their pets should follow social distancing measures.

Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon MSP said: "Guidance should be followed by all animal owners to help prevent the spread of this virus. We will continue to review these guidelines regularly.

"If your household is self-isolating, take time to plan how you will exercise your pet, ensuring that you avoid all contact with other members of the public.

"If you are too unwell to care for your pet and do not have anyone nearby who can help, please phone the Scottish SPCA animal helpline for further advice and support.

"As everyone must observe social distancing rules, all animal owners should take time to consider suitable areas to walk or exercise their pets, avoiding contact with other people.

"Livestock owners who are concerned about how to care for their animals can contact the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI) for help and advice."

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