Spar apologises for misinformation that pets can carry coronavirus, pledges R400,000 to SPCA
The Spar Group has apologised for spreading misinformation regarding Covid-19 and domestic animals.
Last week the supermarket group displayed in stores a controversial poster which suggested domestic animals, like cats and dogs, could spread the coronavirus.
The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) debunked the misinformation, saying there was no evidence Covid-19 could be transmitted from domestic animals to humans.
“The NSPCA would like to assure the public there is no evidence that Covid-19 can be transmitted from domestic animals to humans.
“It is unclear whether this virus is transmittable from wild animals to humans, and therefore we continue to strongly discourage interactions with wild animals, not only for ethical reasons, but now for health reasons too."
The Spar Group apologised for spreading misinformation and causing alarm.
It made a R 400,000 donation to all SPCAs, the NSPCA and other animal welfare organisations throughout South Africa.
“The group said "would like to unreservedly apologise for the incorrect posters displayed in some of our stores" on Facebook.
“In an effort to protect our customers, and in the wake of the panic following the first Covid-19 announcement, we acted too hastily by adopting and translating communication from other countries dealing with the pandemic. They were factually incorrect.
“Animals have ‘no connection’ with the spreading of the coronavirus.
"We have instructed all stores to immediately remove the misleading posters and replace them with the correct communication. Our most sincere apologies to all who have been affected.
“We will endeavour to make amends in whatever way we can to mitigate the damage we have caused.”