Dozens of pet stores in Hong Kong that were recently closed due to Covid-19 fears amongst hamsters are set to reopen.
Over 2000 hamsters were culled recently after a Covid outbreak was traced back to the Little Boss pet store, where 11 hamsters tested positive.
After collecting 1134 samples from small mammals, all of which were negative, authorities said most stores will begin trading this week, while the Little Boss pet store and four other stores will remain closed as they continue testing.
“All the other concerned pet shops on the other hand have been thoroughly disinfected and cleaned and the environmental swabs collected from these shops have all passed the COVID-19 virus test,” said a government statement.
The Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said it would compensate the pet stores forced to close with a one-off payment of up to HK$30,000 (AUD $5507).
“The AFCD earlier on announced a series of measures including suspending the business of pet shops selling hamsters; taking all hamsters on sale for COVID-19 virus tests and humane dispatch; suspending import of all small mammals including hamsters immediately and conducting a review of quarantine requirements for importing these animals.
“All these measures have affected the business of local pet shops selling hamsters.”