In Hong Kong, the authorities are ordering around 2,000 hamsters to be killed. Previously, there were corona infections in hamsters in a pet shop.
Hong Kong — Hong Kong authorities have ordered the killing of scores of hamsters and other small animals after 11 hamsters tested positive for the coronavirus at a pet shop. According to media reports, the owner of the pet shop had previously been diagnosed with a corona infection – the first infection with the Delta variant in Hong Kong for a good three months. Around 150 customers of the store and more than 20 employees were quarantined and the store was closed.
Around 2,000 hamsters and other small animals from around a dozen pet shops are now threatened with a terrible fate: They are to be killed – a precautionary measure to rule out any risk of transmission, as Hong Kong’s Health Councilor Sophia Chan explained. However, she also conceded that there was no international evidence of corona transmission from pets to humans – but one wanted to exercise caution. The Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post, on the other hand, quotes a source as saying that there is evidence of animal-to-human transmission.
After corona infections: Hong Kong wants to kill 2,000 hamsters
Several Hong Kong media reports unanimously that shops and hamster keepers were asked on Tuesday (01/18/2022) to have their animals euthanized. All hamsters bought after December 22 are affected. Some other small animals in pet shops should also be killed as a precaution. All affected animals should be tested for the corona virus. If the test is positive, the owners must go into quarantine, as must visitors to affected pet shops.
Corona in Hong Kong: hamsters are to be killed – animal lovers are outraged
Animal lovers are outraged by the fate of the little animals: “Can anyone save these hamsters and other small animals?” wrote a member of the more than 10,000-member Facebook group Hamster Blog HK. Another user poked fun at the authorities: officials should rather “go to Wuhan and help the bats wear two masks at the same time,” he wrote, referring to the alleged transmission of the virus through bats as host animals.
There were hardly any corona cases in Hong Kong last year due to the strict entry regulations. Most recently, however, infections with the omicron variant had occurred. The hamsters that tested positive in the pet shop were imported from the Netherlands, according to public broadcaster RTHK. The import of small mammals will be stopped for the time being, the health authority said. (afp/dpa/tab)
List of rubrics: © Kin Cheung/dpa