Hong Kong: Government Orders 2,000 Animals Slaughtered After Hamster Tests Positive For COVID-19

By Douglas F. Roberts, The Chicago Times

January 18, 2022

HONG KONG – Authorities in Hong Kong announced Tuesday that 2,000 small animals will be slaughtered after several tested positive for the COVID-19 at a pet store.

Authorities also banned the sale of hamsters and the import of small mammals.  The ban is in response to a pet shop employee that tested positive for COVID on Monday in conjunction with infected hamsters imported from the Netherlands.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to see animals as spreading COVID to humans on a large scale.  However, Hong Kong officials are not taking any chances and believe the order is an appropriate response.

There are many indications that coronavirus was initially transmitted from animal to human yet there is no evidence that animals can cause mass transmission of the virus.  According to Hong Kong authorities, customers who purchased pets from the store after January 7 will be tracked down and placed in mandatory quarantine.  In addition, these customers must hand over their pets to the government to be exterminated.