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Hong Kong puts thousands of hamsters to death after Covid-19 found in pet shop

Hong Kong has ordered a cull of around 2,000 hamsters and warned pet owners not to kiss animals after a cluster of Covid-19 cases was traced to a pet shop.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department director Leung Siu-fai Leung said on Tuesday that hamsters in 34 pet shops and storage facilities would be put down “humanely.” 

Customers who bought hamsters in Hong Kong from December 22 will be subject to mandatory testing and are urged not contact others until their tests have returned negative. 

If their hamsters test positive, they will be subject to quarantine.

A hotline for enquiries about hamsters was being set up, while some 150 of the pet shop’s customers were being sent into quarantine, officials said.

The outbreak of Delta variant cases in humans linked to the shop worker prompted tests on hundreds of animals in the Chinese-ruled territory, with 11 hamsters testing positive.

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