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COVID-19 negative report needed for lions, cats to enter India

COVID-19 negative report needed for lions, cats to enter India

Finance Ministry has directed the customs authorities all over the country to allow the import of animals such as cats, pumas, lions and leopards only after they have tested negative for COVID-19

Large cats-tigers, pumas, lions and leopards as well as gorillas are highly susceptible to the COVID-19 infection, as per the World Health Organisation Large cats-tigers, pumas, lions and leopards as well as gorillas are highly susceptible to the COVID-19 infection, as per the World Health Organisation

Not just humans but animals will also require a COVID-19 negative report while entering India. Finance Ministry has directed the customs authorities all over the country to allow the import of animals such as cats, pumas, lions and leopards only after they have tested negative for COVID-19 three days before export.

"In this regard, the concerned regional officers/ quarantine officers, animal quarantine and certification services (AQCS) will issue advance NOC/final AQCS clearance for import of aforesaid animals into India after receiving negative COVID-19 test report (no more than three days old before export)," the order stated.

In case customs officials discover that an animal is being imported without the necessary reports, the animal will be sent back to the country it came from. This order will not only impact wildlife imports but also expatriates posted for jobs in India who are trying to bring their pets along.

Large cats-tigers, pumas, lions and leopards as well as gorillas are highly susceptible to the COVID-19 infection, as per the World Health Organisation.

Nine lions tested COVID-19 positive in Chennai's Arignar Anna Zoological Park in June. Out of these, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research- National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (ICAR-NIHSAD) conducted genome sequencing of four samples, all of which were infected with the Delta variant of COVID-19. Two of them-nine-year old lioness Neela and a 12-year old lion Pathmanathan succumbed to the virus on June 16.

Edited by Mehak Agarwal

Published on: Jul 05, 2021, 2:15 PM IST
Posted by: Mehak Agarwal, Jul 05, 2021, 2:11 PM IST