MUMBAI: Animal rights activists have written to World Health Organisation (WHO) about false and misleading hoardings in the city and suburbs on the spread of coronavirus. The activists demanded that Indian WHO officials immediately pull down the advertisements, especially as the name of WHO is prominently displayed on them.
“Many friends and fellow animal lovers recently pointed out how billboards on coronavirus have come up at Andheri, Santacruz, Flora Fountain, Colaba and other places, with misleading information on how wild animals or farm animals can spread the virus. I was shocked to see WHO’s name on these advertisements, as it can adversely affect human behaviour towards animals,” said former Animal Welfare Board of India member Anand Siva. He said he had been assured by WHO that they will remove the misleading advertisements.
Honorary wildlife warden and activist Pawan Sharma said, “Mumbai has such a rich biodiversity of wild animals and birds co-existing. If wrong advertisements or posters show images of bats and/or dogs with regard to the spread of Covid-19, it can even put the lives of wild and domestic animals in danger. We do not want panic or rumours.” Sharma, who has also written to BMC, was assured that they will remove the false advertisements.
Mumbai activist Vijay Mohanani said pet parents in south Mumbai had contacted him after seeing the hoardings at prominent locations in the city with wrong information on how the virus is spread.