What does the coronavirus mean for AAP and the animals?
For several weeks now, the world news is dominated by the coronavirus causing the COVID-19 disease. It is indeed a very nasty virus that does a lot of damage and spreads quickly. Many people are and will be personally affected, companies will suffer more and more damage and the stock markets are nervous. But what does this crisis do to AAP?
AAP and the animals at AAP are also feeling the consequences of corona. First of all because - also here - as many people as possible are working from their homes. But as you will understand, this does not apply to all employees. Taking care of the animals will of course always continue! Our caretakers do everything they can to feed the animals every day, clean the enclosures and provide enrichment materials. It is tough, because caretakers with cold or flu symptoms have to stay at home and there are fewer volunteers these days.
The health of the animals is also in danger. Many of the residents of AAP are at higher risk: weak health, heart disease, older age and lower resistance. An outbreak of the coronavirus in AAP could prove fatal to many of these animals. Moreover, treating the animals would be a major challenge, because at AAP we do not have extra space to separate infected animals. How do you ensure that the medication ends up with the right animal, for example? That is why we have been on the safe side at AAP and have taken measures at an early stage. For example, by having caretakers wear a face mask for minor complaints already and have them work at home where possible. We also decided to cancel all tours on our site and to cancel all visits. Very disappointing for the people who had just booked a tour. But rest assured, we will make it up to all of them later.
Then of course we have the animals that are on the waiting list for a spot at AAP. They desperately need our help, but can’t be taken to our rescue center right now. This is because many planned transports are cancelled because of stricter regulations at the borders. On top of that, there is another problem that makes it difficult to take in new animals: we are short of face masks, gloves and disinfectants. These items are widely used by our veterinarians and quarantine staff and are vital for human and animal safety. We therefore have to be very careful with our stock. We feel deeply for the animals on the waiting list that we can’t help when they need us.
These are extraordinary times at AAP. We do what we can and try to keep our loyal supporters and donors informed as good as we possibly can.
As all of you, we can’t wait for better times to come after the coronavirus.
Be well, stay healthy,
David van Gennep
Executive Director AAP
Click here for the Frequently Asked Question on corona/COVID-19.