Hong Kong authorities are to cull about 2,000 hamsters after several of the rodents tested positive for coronavirus at a pet store where an infected employee was working.
Officials said they would also stop the sale and import of the rodents in the city.
The move came after the pet shop employee tested positive for the Delta variant on Monday.
Even though authorities acknowledged there is “no evidence” that pets can transmit the coronavirus to humans, as a precautionary measure customers who purchased hamsters from the affected store after January 7 will be traced and will be subject to mandatory quarantine.
They must also hand over their hamsters to authorities to be put down.
Authorities said that all pet stores selling hamsters in Hong Kong must cease operations and that around 2,000 of the small animals will be culled in a humane manner.
Customers who bought hamsters in Hong Kong from December 22 will also be subject to mandatory testing and are urged not to go into the community until their tests have returned negative.
For now, authorities said they would not rule out transmission between human and animals.