Hong Kong will soon lift the import ban on hamsters that was imposed a year ago after animal-to-human transmission of COVID-19 was discovered in the Special Administrative Region (SAR).
As a result, over 2,000 hamsters were culled during Hong Kong’s fifth COVID-19 outbreak which began in the early months of 2022 and saw more than 2,000 people lose their lives.
A spokesperson for the city’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) told the BBC the rodents would be tested for the virus.
In January 2022, authorities swooped in on the Little Boss pet store in Causeway Bay, seizing the animals.
Families who had bought a hamster since December 22, 2021, were ordered to hand over their pet for euthanasia.
The decision was announced after an outbreak of the Delta variant linked to a worker in the shop prompted officials to test hundreds of animals.
Eleven hamsters were found to be positive, leading officials to believe it may be a case of animal-to-human COVID transmission.
[Cover image via Wiki]