AFCD officers seize hamsters, rabbits and chinchillas in batches for testing from Little Boss pet shop before culling

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19th January 2022 – (Hong Kong) Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) officers went to the Little Boss pet shop in Causeway Bay yesterday evening to seize all hamsters, rabbits and chinchillas in batches for testing of the new coronavirus, and they are expected to be culled later. Meanwhile, the branch of Little Boss in Mong Kok has suspended business. In addition, four hamster shops on Tung Choi Street in Mong Kok have also suspended business yesterday evening.

A female employee of the Little Boss pet store was infected with Delta virus. The virus gene is not similar to the recently imported cases in Hong Kong. A customer of the pet store was diagnosed and the customer’s husband also preliminarily tested positive. The authorities collected 125 animal samples in the store, including hamsters, chinchillas, rabbits, etc., of which 11 samples from the hamsters.

A number of environmental samples including animal cages and food trays where animals were kept at Tai Ping Industrial Centre in Tai Po owned by Little Boss have tested positive. The authorities have not ruled out that the imported hamsters from Netherlands have transmitted the virus to humans. About 1,000 small animals, including hamsters, rabbits, chinchillas, etc., in the pet store will be culled. In addition, all pet shops in Hong Kong selling hamsters will be temporarily closed, and all hamsters will be culled. It is estimated that there will be 1,000 hamsters. AFCD estimates the culling operation will involve about 2,000 animals.

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