A video massively viral across social media platforms has been shared with the claim that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected goats in Ajmer’s bakra market, Rajathan.
जितना जल्दी हो सब गुरुप मे भेजो बकरा मे भी कोरोना वाएरस पाया गया है
Posted by Piriydarshi Mohan Kumar Barnwal on Saturday, 14 March 2020
A lot of people have also shared the same video claiming that “an unknown virus has caused goats to fall sick and paralysed in the market.”
Ajmer Rajasthan, some virus making all Goats/Sheep sick and paralyzed. These goats are arriving in tuck loads into Ajmer Live stock market and are being sent to slaughter houses to process meat. Avoid Mutton in all forms.👇
Just an awareness video, have not checked the credibility of this video🙏🏻
Posted by Amarveer Dhillon on Sunday, 23 February 2020
Several users are advising against the consumption of mutton.
Another deadly unknown virus is spreading in mutton livestock market in India, so avoid consuming goat mutton.
Pass the video on.
Posted by naomithebossblogspot.ie on Friday, 13 March 2020
Alt News has received multiple fact-check requests for the video on its mobile application.
The earliest instance of the video on the internet that Alt News could trace was uploaded on YouTube on December 12, 2019. The first coronavirus case was detected in Kerala on January 30, 2020.
Alt News spoke with the Additional Director (Farms and Estate), Rajasthan Animal Husbandry Department, Dr Pradeep Saraswat, who informed that his office has come across the video. “This video was also shared with us by the Government of India. Even though I was aware that it’s fake and old, I conducted an investigation. It is fake and no viral infection in goats has been reported in the area. I have also replied to the GOI, Joint Secretary.”
The department’s Joint Director (Animal Disease Control), Dr Tej Singh, gave a similar statement and called the viral claims “fake news”.
Gajanand Khatik, a trader at Ajmer bakra market, said, “This is just an attempt to build a narrative against the consumption of meat. No virus is spreading here. If that were the case, health department officials would have conducted inspections. They [the people spreading rumours] are only trying to hamper our business. Why would we sell contaminated meat and dupe people? The rumours are just spreading due to the coronavirus scare.”
It is noteworthy that all three men claimed that the video was not shot in the Ajmer bakra market. However, Alt News has not verified the same.
A quick search for media reports echoing social media assertions does not yield results.
An old video is therefore circulating on social media that goats in Ajmer’s bakra market are either infected with COVID-19 or an unknown virus that is making them sick.
Can COVID-19 infect goats?
Alt News Science editor Dr Sumaiya Shaikh informs that it’s possible that animals domesticated for consumption or dairy can be infected with the coronavirus. “Previous scientific research (Haitham Mohamed Amer, Cambridge University Press, 2019) has shown that domestic as well as wild animals including goats have been infected in the earlier coronavirus epidemics.”
However, continues Dr Shaikh, “Infection in animals such as goats requires a different strain of the same virus than the one which infects humans. Since it has not been found that goats were infected in Ajmer due to the coronavirus, it is likely that the video is false.”
Earlier a piece of false news was viral that broiler chicken was found to be infected with COVID-19.
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