Hong Kong pet shop worker may have ‘caught Covid-19 from imported hamsters’

After discovering evidence of the first suspected animal-to-human transmission of Covid-19 in the city of Hong Kong, authorities have urged pet shops and pet owners to hand over roughly 2,000 hamsters for a mass culling. Awww. Poor little critters.

Authorities have temporarily put a stop to all small animal imports. Officials have also ordered 34 licensed hamster retailers to shut up shop for the time being with around 150 customers also being ordered to hand over their hamsters and go into quarantine. That’s the humans being ordered to quarantine BTW, not the hamsters.


For those customers and pet owners who’s furry little critters test positive, they must isolate as well. While animal rights groups were shocked by the “drastic action,” officials have said that the cull is completely necessary due to the threat to human health. Two humans linked to the Little Boss pet shop have already been verified and confirmed as infected, while 11 hamsters from the pet shop have tested positive for Covid-19.

Officials are insisting that all hamsters purchased in Hong Kong since December would need to be culled. Apparently many of these hamsters arrived in a shipment from the Netherlands and were transported to the Little Boss warehouse in Tai Po. Dr. Leung Siu-fai, Director of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation, has also advised dog and cat owners not to kiss their pets, although I feel this is pretty much a given. That do lick their own asses after all.

If you’re wondering where all this has stemmed from, it turns out the centre of the outbreak all stems from a 23-year-old pet shop worker. Imagine waking up knowing you’ve got the blood of 2000 hamsters on your hands. Tough day.

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