Hongkongers launch hamster rescue mission after Covid cull declared
Thousands sign petitions and many offer to house pets, as officials say more than 2,000 imported hamsters must be killed
Authorities and pet lovers in Hong Kong are locked in a game of cat and mouse, with citizens mounting a clandestine rescue operation for hamsters condemned to be euthanised over fears they could transmit Covid-19.
On Tuesday, government and health officials announced traces of the virus had been found on 11 hamsters, all in a pet shop where a 23-year-old staff member had fallen ill. They decided more than 2,000 of the imported animals, including any pets bought since 22 December, must be killed, and “strongly recommended” owners surrender their pets.