Forbes, CBC News Consult U of G Veterinary Disease Expert

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Prof. Scott Wees

Prof. Scott Weese, a veterinary infectious disease researcher at U of G’s Ontario Veterinary College, spoke to Forbes online about why so many mink are dying– or being culled –because of COVID-19.

Weese explained that some animals, such as cats and mink, have ACE2 receptors in their lungs that for some reason are easier for the virus that causes COVID-19 to attach to, making the animals more likely to become sick.

Mink farms, where thousands of animals are kept in close proximity, enable infectious diseases like COVID-19 to spread easily.

Weese also spoke with CBC Investigates about the health problems found in animals from puppy mills. He said buyers should be cautious of a breeder who says a puppy is immediately available, as that animal may come from a puppy mill.

“Breeders don’t work on demand,” he said.

Weese is a veterinary internal medicine specialist and the chief of infection control at OVC.