AFCD hits out at those trying to prevent hamster cull

The government on Friday said the police may be called in, if people are stopped from handing in their hamsters to be culled.

The government ordered the cull last Tuesday, after hamsters infected a Causeway Bay pet shop worker with the delta variant of Covid-19. It said the public should hand in hamsters bought on, or after, December 22 to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) to be put down.

The cull announcement drew criticism from some quarters with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals saying it was shocked.

Now the AFCD says some people, bringing in their hamsters to its New Territories South Animal Management Centre, have been approached by others, offering to look after the hamsters. It said such action posed a health risk to the public and to those trying to take the hamsters. It said any hamsters taken should be returned, and police may also be called in this is not done.

Earlier on Thursday evening, the Chief Executive’s Office put out a statement criticising the sending of intimidating messages to the anti-epidemic expert advisory group. It said the hamsters were being dispatched humanely, and that the action was necessary to fight the pandemic.