After a cluster of Covid-19 cases was connected to a pet shop, Hong Kong ordered the culling of about 2,000 hamsters and cautioned pet owners not to kiss animals.
Leung Siu-fai Leung, director of the Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department, announced on Tuesday that hamsters in 34 pet stores and storage facilities would be “humanely” killed.
Customers who purchased hamsters in Hong Kong after December 22 will be subjected to mandatory testing, and they are advised not to contact anybody else until their tests are negative.
Quarantine will be imposed if their hamsters test positive.
Officials said a hotline for questions regarding hamsters was being set up, and 150 clients of the pet shop were being quarantined.
The human Delta variant epidemic linked to the shop worker spurred tests on hundreds of animals in the Chinese-ruled region, with 11 hamsters proving positive.