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Hundreds of lockdown-hit animals die in Pakistan pet markets

Abandoned when Pakistan’s largest cities went into lockdown, hundreds of caged cats, dogs and rabbits have been found dead inside pet markets hurriedly shuttered as the covid-19 spread.

Survivors from the specialist corner of Karachi’s sprawling Empress Market in Saddar, Karachi were only rescued after activists appealed to the authorities for access.

2 weeks into the shutdown, Ayesha Chundrigar could hear the cries of the pets from outside the shops, which together housed up to 1,000 animals.

When we got inside, the majority of them were dead, about 70%. Their bodies were lying on the ground,” Chundrigar, who runs ACF Animal Rescue, told AFP.

“It was so horrific, I can’t tell you.”

Starving and locked in cages with no light or ventilation, the survivors sat amongst the dead, trembling.

As the coronavirus pandemic grew, Pakistan’s major cities were plunged into lockdown, forcing many shops to close. Only stalls selling essential goods such as food and medicine were allowed to continue operating.

It left pet shop owners blocked from their businesses, some resorting to sneaking in at night to feed the animals.

After the desperate rescue, Ayesha Chundrigar has now convinced the Karachi authorities to allow pet shop owners and her team daily access to the animals.”

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Corona Virus Current Status in Pakistan

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