HONG KONG, Jan 28 (Reuters) – The Hong Kong authorities mentioned on Friday it might compensate pet retailers buying and selling in hamsters after ordering a cull on the rodents final week over fears they had been spreading COVID-19.
The town’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Division mentioned it might supply a one-off cost of as much as HK$30,000 (US$3,850) to retailers affected by the culling of all hamsters on sale and tracing of people that had lately bought them. In addition they banned imports.
“All these measures have affected the enterprise of native pet retailers promoting hamsters,” the division mentioned in an announcement, including that funds can be created from the federal government’s anti-epidemic reduction fund.
Final week, Hong Kong authorities enraged pet lovers with an order to cull greater than 2,200 hamsters after tracing an outbreak to a employee in a store the place 11 hamsters examined constructive.
Individuals who had in latest weeks purchased hamsters – standard condominium pets within the congested metropolis – had been ordered to give up them for testing and what the federal government described as “humane dispatch”.
In latest days hundreds of individuals have supplied to undertake undesirable hamsters amid a public outcry towards the federal government and its pandemic advisers, which the workplace of Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam referred to as irrational.
The hyperlink between hamsters and human transmission stays inconclusive, however authorities officers have mentioned the crackdown was nonetheless wanted as a precautionary measure.
Hong Kong has for months pursued a “zero-Covid” technique, making it probably the most remoted main cities wherever, with flights lowered by 90 per cent.
It’s at present grappling with an Omicron outbreak nevertheless, with the federal government on Thursday announcng that it might prolong citywide restrictions till Feb. 17.
Colleges, playgrounds, gyms and most venues are shut, whereas tens of hundreds of individuals should do day by day coronavirus exams.
(Reporting By Greg Torode and Marius Zaharia; Enhancing by Angus MacSwan)
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