A dog is taken for a walk outside the Animal Rescue of New Orleans on March 24, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images/AFP
Thousands want dog walks during virus curfew in Serbia
(Agence France-Presse) - April 1, 2020 - 12:23pm

BELGRADE, Serbia — Thousands of people have urged Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic to let them briefly walk pets during a curfew introduced over the coronavirus crisis, local media reported Tuesday.

Serbia has declared a state of emergency and adopted strict measures to curb the COVID-19 outbreak, including a curfew from 5:00 pm to 5:00 am during the week and from 3:00 pm to 5:00 am on weekends.

The Balkan country has confirmed 900 cases of COVID-19 and 23 deaths.

The government initially allowed dog owners to walk their pets for an hour in the evening, but revoked the decision on Saturday, saying people had taken advantage of the measure.

Outrage ensued on social networks.

"It is inhuman to make a dog hold its bladder for 14 hours, and it's not good for the dog, especially older ones," Tijana Mahieu said.

"This is outrageous. I have a working dog and if his needs are not met he might become destructive. Whose fault would it be," Zuna Ljubicic asked AFP.

A "Group howling at the Moon" was created on Facebook.

"My events calendar: 'Howlin at the moon', tonight at 8:30 pm, from my kitchen window, organised by me, in protest against the #lockdown rules for pet owners and their pets," the organiser wrote.

Participants posted short videos of people and dogs howling and barking.

More than 37,000 people signed the petition sent to Brnabic, urging her to allow half-hour walks at 8:00 pm, N1 television network reported.

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