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Hong Kong. They want to kill two thousand hamsters. “As part of prevention” against COVID-19

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Hong Kong authorities ordered the killing of over two thousand hamsters. The reason for the decision is the detection of a delta variant in an employee of one of the pet stores. Tens of thousands of people in one day signed a petition to the government to withdraw from the plans. Healthcare experts stressed that there is no scientific evidence that pets can transmit the coronavirus to humans.

23,000 people in Hong Kong signed a petition on Wednesday to the authorities to withdraw from the plan to kill 2,000 hamsters, accused of spreading the coronavirus.

“Hong Kong’s newest enemy”

Authorities concluded that a 23-year-old pet store worker who was diagnosed with the coronavirus infection may have contracted the delta variant from ‘Dutch imported hamsters’. The virus was later also detected in one of the store’s customers and her husband, as well as in 11 hamsters in the store.

The Hong Kong administration announced on Tuesday that “as a preventive measure”, more than 30 pet stores will be euthanized as well as those already purchased by customers after December 22.

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Doctors and health experts recalled that there are no scientific reports according to which animals could transmit a dangerous virus, but authorities decided anyway that shops and buyers should return the rodents.

While there is no international evidence that pets can transmit COVID-19 to humans, as a precautionary measure, we will take all measures to minimize the risk of spreading the disease, said Sophia Chan, Hong Kong secretary of food and health, at an information meeting on Tuesday. .

“Hamsters are the newest enemy of the Hong Kong authorities in their zero covid campaign,” said the Wall Street Journal.

According to the public RTHK station, owners began handing over pets to authorities on Wednesday. Some were willing to get rid of them, saying that rodents could pose a health risk to household members, including children and the elderly.

Outrage among the locals

However, the decision aroused outrage among many Hong Kongers, as well as animal advocacy organizations. In one day, 23,000 people signed a petition with an appeal to withdraw from the plan to kill thousands of hamsters.

“The animal is man’s best friend, and by government orders, thousands of people can unjustifiably lose their dearest comrades,” the petition wrote.

“If cats, dogs or other animals become infected in the future, will they also be targeted for” humane disposal “? – an animal rights spokesman for the Hong Kong Democratic Party asked on social media.

A young woman who bought a hamster on January 1 told Standard that she would not give up her rodent. After reports of possible animal-to-human transmission of the coronavirus, she went to be tested for COVID-19.

“If the test is negative, no one will take my hamster unless they kill me,” she said.

The woman also referred to the scandal surrounding the birthday party of the Hong Kong delegate of the Chinese Parliament, which was attended by many high-ranking dignitaries, including ministers and MPs. One of the party’s guests was infected with the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

“If all the people who were at the birthday party are put to sleep, then I will give my hamster to the government,” said the owner of the rodent.

Hong Kong hamsters are not the first victims of aggressive measures. At the end of 2020, 17 million mink fur farms were slaughtered in Denmark due to concerns over COVID-19. Earlier in 2020, about a million mink were killed for this reason in the Netherlands, and almost 100,000 in Spain.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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