'We are worried': Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam defends hamster culling

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Jan 23, 2022, 07:05 PM(IST)

Carrie Lam Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

A surge of Delta cases had been linked to a pet shop worker. The 23-year-old woman who worked at the Little Boss pet shop in Causeway Bay may have contracted the disease from the hamsters who were found to be Covid positive

Defending mass culling of hamsters, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said that Covid infections could be growing exponentially due to an outbreak in pet hamsters. A surge of Delta cases had been linked to a pet shop worker. The 23-year-old woman who worked at the Little Boss pet shop in Causeway Bay may have contracted the disease from the hamsters who were found to be Covid positive.

As a result, Hong Kong decided to kill 2,000 hamsters and temporarily suspend imports of small animals after finding evidence for the first time traces of possible animal-to-human transmission of the Covid virus in the city. 

"We are worried that the exponential growth of cases that we have seen in other parts of the world is now happening in Kwai Chung," Lam said. She further urged people to avoid gatherings ahead of Lunar New Year. 

Also read | Hong Kong to cull thousands of hamsters after finding traces of animal-to-human Covid transmission

Earlier this week, Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Dr Leung Siu-fai announced that all owners who had bought hamsters since December 22 would have to turn over the animals. 

“We have assessed that the risks of these batches are relatively high and therefore made the decision based on public health needs,” SCMP quoted Leung as saying.

“We urge all pet owners to observe strict hygiene when handling their pets and cages. Do not kiss them or abandon them on the streets,” he added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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