"In a desperate attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus, some Chinese pet owners have been warned to 'deal with' their cats and dogs - or government officials could have them exterminated.
It comes days after one of China's top infectious disease experts said the deadly virus could spread from animals to humans.
'If your dogs run around outside and come to contact with the outbreak or people infected with the virus, then your pets should also be put in quarantine,' Professor Li Lanjuan from China's National Health Commission told the state broadcaster on Wednesday.
'Because the epidemic spreads between mammals, therefore we should take precaution against other mammals.'
Her words reportedly sparked panic across multiple provinces and cities, with local authorities posting flyers forbidding residents from letting cats, dogs or livestock out of their homes."
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