KUALA TERENGGANU: The simultaneous death of 20 cats at the Pantai Bukit Keluang resort area in Besut on March 6 was caused by a 'parvovirus' infection, and not by poison.
Terengganu Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) director Dr Anun Man said the results of laboratory tests conducted by her department and the Chemistry Department found no trace of poison in the samples of the animal carcasses.
"The results of the diagnostic tests performed did not detect the presence of the toxin as suspected, however, the cats were confirmed positive for parvovirus infection which can spread very quickly, involving large numbers of animals.
"The cause of this infection is that the cats have not been vaccinated, and apart from cats, this virus can also infect dogs,” she said when met by reporters at the state DVS Aidilfitri celebration here on Wednesday (May 25).
She did not rule out the possibility that the cats were discarded by an unspecified party after discovering that the animals were infected with the disease and could no longer be saved.
"However, there is no evidence that can link this irresponsible act to any party. Perhaps the owner is worried that the disease will spread to other pets, so the step (of discarding the animals on the beach) was taken,” Dr Anun said.
A video clip of 20 dead cats on Pantai Bukit Keluang was circulating on social media as soon as it was uploaded by a staff member of Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) on the morning of the incident.
The incident drew mixed reactions from netizens who were angry and saddened by the actions of irresponsible parties. Some also believed that the cats were poisoned.
Following that, DVS staff went down to the location to investigate and brought the carcasses to the laboratory to find out the real cause. - Bernama