One surrendered hamster tests Covid positive in Hong Kong

One surrendered hamster tests Covid positive in Hong Kong
Government’s strategy has drawn severe criticism and thousands of people have offered to hide or adopt unwanted hamsters

One of the hamsters surrendered to authorities in 香港 テストで陽性 COVID-19, 当局は言った.

今週はじめ, the southeast Asian region announced a drive to cull nearly 2,000 hamsters after 11 contracted the virus at a pet shop.

Officials asked pet owners to hand over hamsters purchased in the last four weeks to be euthanised. 現在 22 1月, の合計 2,512 動物, 含む 2,229 hamsters, have been “humanely dispatched”, the government said in a statement.

Though some small rodents had tested positive for the coronavirus infection earlier, this is the first case involving a hamster that was in the care of a pet owner, 当局は言った.

But the government’s strategy has drawn severe criticism, and thousands of people had offered to hide or adopt the unwanted hamsters. Some groups even offered to backdate receipts to falsely show that hamsters were purchased before 22 12月, which is the deadline set by the administration. Many also waited outside collection centres to try to dissuade pet owners from handing in their hamsters.

The Carrie Lam administration called the backlash irrational. 「「[The government] strongly advises members of the public again to surrenderas soon as possible their hamsters purchased in local pet shops on or after 22 12月 2021 for humane dispatch,” the government said in its latest statement on Sunday.

People stand under a banner for a pet shop where an employee and a customer later tested positive for Covid-19 after handling hamsters

ザ・ 11 hamsters that initially tested positive were imported from the Netherlands and sold at a local pet store called Little Boss. A worker at the store as well as a 67-year-old customer have also tested positive. Traces of the virus were found at an off-site warehouse too.

All pet shops selling hamsters in the city were also ordered to shut down for further testing and cleaning.

While the Hong Kong government has said it cannot take any chances in its efforts to maintain a “zero-Covid” strategy, animal lovers and welfare organisations are still angry at the measures.