Massive hamster euthanasia ordered due to Covid — Analysis

Hong Kong has warned pet house owners to not kiss their animals after 11 hamsters returned optimistic Covid-19 exams. An outbreak within the Chinese language-ruled territory has been traced to a pet store.

On Tuesday, the Chinese language-ruled island of Hong Kong ordered the culling of two,000 hamsters after a widespread testing of the rodents revealed 11 optimistic exams. 

Well being Secretary Sophia Chan instructed a information convention that authorities have been performing out of warning, as there is no such thing as a proof that home animals can infect people. The measures echo the zero-tolerance strategy adopted on the mainland. 

“Pet house owners ought to preserve a very good hygiene apply, together with washing palms after touching the animals, dealing with their meals or different gadgets, and keep away from kissing the animals,” Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Division director Leung Siu-fai additionally instructed reporters.

Leung confirmed that some 2,000 hamsters can be “humanely” put down at 34 pet outlets and storage amenities across the metropolis. Anybody who bought a hamster after December 22 would wish handy it over to the authorities. These animals shouldn’t be left on the streets, he added. 

The transfer comes after a latest cluster of Covid-19 circumstances was traced again to a pet store within the metropolis’s bustling Causeway Bay district. The model, Little Boss, mentioned it might shut different branches too whereas they’re disinfected.  

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Males could possibly be seen coming into one of many shops sporting protecting gear. Police and agriculture bureau vehicles have been parked exterior. 

Different animals, together with rabbits, have been examined, however solely hamsters have given optimistic outcomes. 

Up to now two years, plenty of animals together with cats and canine have examined optimistic for Covid-19.

Outbreaks in mink populations have led to widespread culls. Hamsters are understood to be significantly inclined and may carry heavy quantities of the virus. 
Hong Kong has just lately seen a small spike in circumstances after months with none native transmission.

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