Skip to content

Hong Kong’s Hamster Cull ‘Excessive, Unjustified,’ Experts Say

  • Two thousand small family pets to be put down on virus fears
  • City ramps up Covid eradication efforts amid ongoing outbreak
Video player cover image
Hong Kong to Cull Over 1,000 Hamsters After Delta Flare

Hong Kong’s decision to kill thousands of hamsters, rabbits and chinchillas on the never previously seen risk that they could spread Covid-19 to humans is an overreaction borne of Covid Zero politics that may have no impact on the pandemic, experts said.

The city, which has staked its reputation and its future on being a Covid-free bastion, is grappling with the simultaneous arrival of the omicron and delta variants after more than six months without a single local infection that wasn’t tied to international travel. While its robust tracking and tracing efforts allowed experts to pinpoint the origin of almost every omicron infection, the case of delta that unexpectedly appeared in a local pet store worker flummoxed officials and led them to consider less likely scenarios.