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Public perception of urban companion animals during the COVID-19 outbreak in China

Lookup NU author(s): Quan Gao


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© 2020 Elsevier LtdThis paper responds to the increasing concern regarding the role of non-human life in shaping urban space by exploring the public perception of urban companion animals during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in China. We argue that the public's perception of urban companion animals during emerging infectious disease outbreaks is related to medical and life science issues and reflects the political, economic, and emotional struggles involved in human-animal multispecies cohabitation. We find that the public has mainly followed and reconstructed medical discourses about the risk of companion animal-to-human transmission and discussed sustainable ethical animal practices in urban public health emergency management during the COVID-19 outbreak. Concerns regarding the risk of companion animal-related infection reflect the increasing prominence of more-than-human families, the pet industry, and multispecies leisure conflicts in public space in Chinese cities. The public's attention to animal ethics has prompted Chinese policy makers to adopt a more morally acceptable model for urban public health emergency management that can be sustained and supported by responsible non-governmental organizations and ethical urban residents.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Yin D, Gao Q, Zhu H, Li J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Health and Place

Year: 2020

Volume: 65

Online publication date: 28/07/2020

Acceptance date: 13/07/2020

ISSN (print): 1353-8292

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2054

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2020.102399

PubMed id: 32736203


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