Animal protection Current Affairs - 2020

A Tiger tests positive of COVID-19 in the US: Zoos on high alert in the country

On April 6, 2020, the Central Zoo Authority of the United States asked all the zoos to stay on high alert after a tiger tested positive of COVID-19. This is the first time COVID-19 infections are reported on an animal.


A four-year-old Malayan tiger in the Bronx Zoo of New York has tested positive of Corona Virus.  It is still not known how the disease will develop in cats. This is because different species behave differently. Till date there is no evidence that animals play a major role in COVID-19 transmission. Also, there is no evidence that a human can be infected by the virus from animals.

COVID-19 not air borne

There are no findings till date how the virus transmits between animals and humans. Indian Council of Medical Research has confirmed that there is no evidence that COVID-19 is air borne disease. There are evidences that it spreads only through droplets. The virus spreads through two different types of droplets namely respiratory droplets and droplet nuclei. When the droplets are 5-10 μm in diameter they are called respiratory droplets. When the droplets are less than 5μm in diameter they are called droplet nuclei.

Malayan Tiger

Malayan Tigers or the Southern Indochinese Tiger is a type of tiger sub-species native to Peninsular Malaysia. It is classified as a critically endangered species by IUCN. They are threatened by habitat loss/ fragmentation, poaching, illegal trade for traditional medicine, etc.

Feline Coronavirus

Cats are affected by a specific class of coronavirus called the feline coronavirus. Unlike the SARS CoV 2, feline coronaviruses are transmitted through faecal- oral route. These viruses affect the intestine or peritoneum of cats.

Animal Protection Index: India ranks second

On March 12, 2020, Global Animal Protection Index 2020 was released by World Animal Protection, an international animal welfare charity. India was ranked second in the index.


The Animal Protection Index ranks countries from A to G. India was ranked along with Spain, Mexico, France and New Zealand. In other words, these countries were ranked equally to India. According to the index, they were best performing countries. There are strong laws to protect animals in these countries. However, the laws are not as strict to protect dairy animals.


The index highlighted the works that are required to be done in India to include dairy animals under protection. Also, the index suggested to improve cruelty considerations in the Prevention of Animal Cruelty Act, 1960. Under the act, animals used in scientific research are exempted. Rather Government shall issue guidelines on usage of animals for scientific research.

About the Index

The Index assessed the legislation of 50 countries. It highlighted lack of adequacy in the animal welfare laws globally. The main aim of the index was to help countries to put animal welfare practices of keeping them clean and accommodate sufficient space for them to exhibit their natural behaviours.

Global Ranking

According to the index, the countries that performed weakly included Iran, Morocco, Algeria and Belarus. These countries are missing the basic legal framework.