Hong Kong enables hamster pet merchants to resume business enterprise following COVID cull

Officers in protecting fits get the job done inside a closed pet shop in Mong Kok district just after a hamster cull was ordered to control the coronavirus ailment (COVID-19) outbreak, in Hong Kong, China, January 19, 2022. REUTERS/Lam Yik

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HONG KONG, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Dozens of pet stores that marketed hamsters in Hong Kong might resume company from Sunday, Hong Kong’s govt claimed, just after being shuttered final 7 days and 1000’s culled over coronavirus fears.

Authorities enraged pet enthusiasts with an get to cull a lot more than 2,200 hamsters right after tracing an outbreak to a worker in a shop where 11 hamsters analyzed optimistic. Imported hamsters from Holland into the Chinese territory had been cited as the supply. All hamster imports keep on being banned.

The city’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Office explained in a assertion late on Saturday that it gathered 1,134 samples from animals other than hamsters including rabbits and chinchillas, which have been all detrimental.

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5 suppliers, which includes the “Little Boss” pet shop, which started the outbreak, remained shuttered as they had not nonetheless “passed the virus take a look at,” the governing administration stated.

“All the other concerned pet retailers on the other hand have been comprehensively disinfected and cleaned and the environmental swabs gathered from these stores have all handed the COVID-19 virus take a look at,” it reported.

The govt reported on Friday it would compensate pet retailers trading in hamsters, offering a just one-off payment of up to HK$30,000 (US$3,850).

Folks who had in latest months purchased hamsters – popular condominium pets in the congested metropolis – were ordered to surrender them for testing and what the government explained as “humane dispatch”.

Hundreds of folks provided to adopt undesired hamsters amid a public outcry against the government and its pandemic advisers, which authorities referred to as irrational.
A analyze released in The Lancet health care journal, which has not but been peer reviewed, claimed Hong Kong scientists have observed proof that pet hamsters can spread COVID-19 and connected the animals to human infections in the metropolis.

Nevertheless, the financial and psychological tolls from Hong Kong’s hardline technique to curbing the virus are swiftly climbing, inhabitants say, with steps getting to be far more draconian than those to start with enforced in 2020. browse more

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Reporting by Farah Master editing by Grant McCool

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