Headline of the Day: Vietnam cracks down on hamster craze

Born to be mildFrom next Monday, anyone possessing or trading hamsters faces stiff fines of up to 30 million dong (1,875 dollars), the Vietnam News daily reported, citing a new agriculture ministry directive to enforce a ban imposed last month. The communist government aims to end a youth craze for the fast-breeding animals, which were previously only imported for scientific research, but which have now spawned online hamster forums and real-life hamster clubs.

Apparently the Year of the Ratatouille is to blame for the popularity of the rodents. The government is afraid that they could spread disease and destroy crops.

This crackdown seems to have hit the blackmarket hamster trade very hard: “Amid the stern warning, the state-run Vietnam News reported, the street price of hamsters, many smuggled from China and Thailand without licenses or quarantine checks, has already dropped from over 20 dollars to less than 10.”

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2 thoughts on “Headline of the Day: Vietnam cracks down on hamster craze

  1. That’s really interesting. There are states in the US where headgehogs are illegal for the same reasons. Introducing non-native animals into an environment where they can thrive has proven disasterous to many ecosystems. Just look at New Zeland’s snake problem for example. It is interesting to note that a few alien species in the United States are tumble weeds from Russia, sparrows for England and the housefly from Africa. I wonder if there has been any limitation on the trade or sale of Knish in Vietnam? They make good pets besides being very tasty and I doubt they they would be able to survive in Vietnam outside of captivity. I think they would be an excellent alternative to hamsters as pets.

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