34 Pet Stores In Hong Kong To Hand Over Hamsters For Testing & Culling
It’s not unheard of for animals to test positive for Covid-19. Just last November, several lions at the Night Safari tested positive for the coronavirus.
Recently, 11 hamsters were found to be Covid-19 positive after an outbreak of the Delta variant in Hong Kong (HK).
In order to curb the spread of the infection, HK authorities have reportedly ordered the culling of about 2,000 hamsters.
After learning this, 26,000 individuals signed a petition to stop the order, claiming it was too harsh and unnecessary.
First case of Delta variant of Covid-19 In 3 Months
According to The Straits Times (ST), the HK authorities issued the order after a staff member of Little Boss, a pet shop, tested positive for the Delta variant.
There are currently 3 cases linked to the pet shop, which has since suspended operations.
To date, 125 samples were taken from the shop, with 11 of them testing positive.
As HK takes a zero-tolerance approach towards Covid-19, about 2,000 hamsters in 34 pet shops and storage facilities will be put down “humanely”.
Those who had bought hamsters from Little Boss after 22 Dec 2021 were also asked to hand them over to be put down.
Over 26,000 sign petition to stop cull order
Since the order was announced, concerned individuals have created a change.org petition to protest the move. It has received over 26,000 signatures at the time of this article.
Netizens have expressed outrage as they believe the lives of these animals should be preserved and treated with respect.
Others also believe that these animals do not pose any danger to humans.
Meanwhile, some prefer to err on the side of caution.
While many acknowledge that it is important to curb the spread of the infection, many still believe that culling these animals is unnecessary and excessively harsh.
Public health remains the priority in Hong Kong
According to ST, HK Health Secretary Sophia Chan said there is no evidence to suggest that domestic animals can infect humans.
However, they are taking a cautious approach to prioritise the health and safety of their citizens.
Additionally, the HK authorities advised pet owners to continue maintaining good hygiene practices and avoid kissing their animals.
Keeping ourselves safe from Covid-19
Covid-19 has brought a seemingly endless stream of upsetting and unfortunate events.
While the safety of citizens should rightfully be prioritised, putting an end to so many lives might also appear excessive.
What do you think is the best course of action for the HK authorities? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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