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Killing of 2000 rodents ordered: Hong Kong warns animal lovers against obstructing hamster culling action

2022-01-21T11:01:56.075Z

In Hong Kong, around 2,000 small animals are said to be killed after a corona outbreak in hamsters. Animal rights activists are trying to prevent this with a protest – to the annoyance of the government.



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Pet shop in Hong Kong: Police operation

Photo: Kin Cheung/AP

In Hong Kong, the Chinese Special Administrative Region government has warned animal lovers not to obstruct the killing of hundreds of hamsters.

The controversial action is intended to help fight the pandemic.

On Friday, the Ministry of Nature Conservation condemned a protest action by animal rights activists who had gathered in front of an official collection point and prevented hamster owners from giving up their rodents.

The ministry urged people to "stop such actions immediately and bring back hamsters that have been taken away."

The police secured the official small animal collection point on Friday, as was seen on television.

According to the agency, 68 rodents were delivered there by Thursday evening.

Earlier this week, Hong Kong authorities ordered the killing of hundreds of hamsters and other rodents, including rabbits and guinea pigs, following the discovery of several hamsters infected with the coronavirus at a pet shop.

A total of around 2000 animals are to be culled.

The import of small mammals has been temporarily suspended.

Pet owners who bought their rodents after December 22 were asked to hand them in at the official collection point.

As things stand, pet owners who don't give up their rodents face no penalties.

However, Hong Kong health officials warned people there were legal ways to force the animals to be handed over.

The authorities argue that given the occurrence of corona infections in rodents, there is an increased risk of animal-to-human transmission.

The Hong Kong government's corona adviser, Yuen Kwok-yung, wrote in an article on Wednesday that the culling of the animals was necessary to "avert a catastrophe".

Like mainland China, Hong Kong has a strict zero-Covid policy.

As soon as individual corona cases occur, the authorities take tough measures such as locally limited lockdowns.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the risk of animal-to-human transmission of corona infections is low, but not impossible.

wit/AFP/Reuters

Source: spiegel

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