Statement from Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council President and CEOMike Bober on Off-Label Usage of Chloroquine Phosphate to Try to PreventCOVID-19

“We at the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council are saddened to hear of thedeath of a man in Arizona after he ingested a substance labeled for use as amedication used to treat fish parasites that contained the ingredientchloroquine phosphate. On behalf of the entire responsible pet care community,we warn the public that they should never use pet care products, or anyproducts, for any purpose other than what the label directs.

Some fish medications contain chloroquine phosphate or other forms ofchloroquine, but the active ingredients are in a different form from thoseintended for human use and can be poinsonous if ingested by people. Theseproducts may also have additional ingredients that support the intended use,but can be harmful to humans. In this case, it is believed that the deceasedmistakenly thought that chloroquine phosphate could prevent the COVID-19virus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers forDisease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19nor any evidence that current medicine can cure the disease.

The responsible pet care community is now, and always has been, committed toprotecting the health and well-being of humans and companion animals. The WHOand CDC continue to affirm that there is no evidence that a dog, cat or anypet can transmit COVID-19. We at PIJAC recommend that people follow theguidelines for preventing COVID-19 infections at, and forkeeping safe around pets at, including always washing yourhands after handling or being around animals or their waste, food, orsupplies.”


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