A New Zealand sheep farmer was arrested after it was confirmed by health authorities that he had sexually transmitted the coronavirus to hundreds of his animals.
Jeremiah Wilson, 37, alerted health authorities last week after being hospitalized for symptoms of the coronavirus and admitting to hospital staff to having sexual relations with his flock of 400 sheep but not his wife who has since tested negative to the coronavirus.
Coronavirus has been known to spread to several species of animals but health officials have confirmed that sheep cannot contract the virus by other means than sexual transmission.
“The airborne virus does not affect sheep. There must transmission through the oral or genitals parts, be it by saliva or direct contact with sexual organs” Jarod Wellshire, a spokesman to the New Zealand Ministry of Health explained.
“We ask of our farmers who indulge in such sexual practices to temporarily refrain from such behavior during this time of pandemic,” Health Ministry spokesman Jarod Wellshire said during a nationally televised press conference.
When questioned by journalists if it was safe for farmers to resume such sexual activities with the animals after the pandemic, Health Ministry spokesman Jarod Wellshire was reassuring.
“These practices have been ongoing for centuries and have never represented a health threat for the population until today,” Health Ministry spokesman Jarod Wellshire added.
Last year, hundreds of thousands of sheep all over New Zealand were euthanized after being transmitted the virus through “unknown means” according to the Ministry of Health.
Bestiality is illegal in New Zealand but is openly tolerated by police authorities in rural regions where such activities are culturally accepted according to experts.