Hong Kong kills hamsters in anti covid measure

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    Martin Williams

      Hong Kong has ordered thousands of hamsters be surrendered for “disposal” after traces of Covid-19 were found on 11 animals in a pet shop.

      The order includes pets that were bought days before Christmas be handed over, with a warning not to “kiss or abandon them on the street” as Hong Kong and mainland China attempt to sustain a zero Covid strategy, attempting to suppress all outbreaks internally while maintaining tight border controls with the outside world.


      Authorities announced on Tuesday that traces of the virus were detected on 11 hamsters out of 178 hamsters, rabbits and chinchillas tested at the Little Boss pet shop and associated warehouse in Causeway Bay while investigating the city’s first untraceable Delta variant diagnosis in more than three months, in a 23-year-old store employee.

      Two employees were also confirmed to have the disease, including one who cleans out the animal cages and handles the hamsters.


      In response, they ordered the immediate suspension of hamster sales and imports of all rodents. An estimated 2,000 hamsters, including any bought since 22 December, must be handed over, local media reported, and the owners must report for testing.


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