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Staff members from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department investigate a pet shop in Hong Kong, Tuesday, January 18, 2022, which closed after some pet hamsters tested positive for the coronavirus, according to authorities.
Body of workers participants from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Division examine a puppy store in Hong Kong, Tuesday, January 18, 2022, which closed after some puppy hamsters examined sure for the coronavirus, in keeping with government. Family members Cheung/AP

Hong Kong government say they are going to euthanize round 2,000 small animals — together with all hamsters in puppy stores — because of issues round Covid-19 transmission.

On Tuesday, officers mentioned they discovered 11 hamsters from the Little Boss puppy retailer within the town had examined initial sure.

The animals have been imported from the Netherlands in two batches, one on January 7 and one on December 22, in keeping with Dr. Leung Siu-fai, director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation.

The samples have been taken after a 23-year-old employee on the store, positioned in Hong Kong’s busy Causeway Bay district, used to be showed Monday to be inflamed with the Delta variant.

Usually, well being government have mentioned that the chance of transmission from animals to people is imaginable, however low.

Environmental samples taken on the store’s warehouse, the place the small animals are held, additionally showed lines of coronavirus, officers mentioned.

Government have requested the store at hand over all its small animals, together with hamsters, rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs, and for individuals who bought hamsters after December 22 at hand over their animals to be examined and euthanized.

As well as, puppy stores promoting hamsters had been requested at hand over the animals. The import of all small animals into the town has been suspended and all puppy stores promoting hamsters had been requested to droop operations in an instant. Those puppy stores can reopen as soon as all their small animals had been examined and their effects discovered to be unfavorable, government added.

Officers mentioned Tuesday they are going to additionally evaluation quarantine measures for imported small animals, together with imaginable trying out ahead of and upon arrival.

“We can’t rule out the likelihood that once those animals have been imported, they have been already wearing the coronavirus. In gentle of this, we can’t rule out the likelihood that individuals involved with those animals are beneath upper dangers [of infection],” Dr. Edwin Tsui, head of the Centre for Well being Coverage on the Division of Well being, mentioned in a Tuesday information convention. 

There were documented Covid-19 instances in animals who most likely stuck the virus from people, in keeping with the US Facilities for Illness Keep an eye on and Prevention, however there may be much less proof to indicate the potential for animal to human transmission.

In November 2020, Denmark mentioned it discovered a mutated pressure of the coronavirus amongst its mink inhabitants that had unfold to people. In reaction, the govt introduced the culling of 17 million mink to forestall its unfold. 

Hong Kong’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) says they’re “stunned and anxious” over the verdict to ​euthanize greater than 2,000 small animals, including that it “didn’t take animal welfare and human-animal bond into account.” 

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