The longest- lived hamster I have had was my first; he lived to be four and a bit. Maybe it was something in the air in my squalid childhood bedroom/junkyard- I also had a mouse called Beast who lived to be nearly four and they are only supposed to last a year or thereabouts! He ran free on a big shelf in my room and just went on forever; by the end of his life his hair was all patchy and he was all wrinkled like a little Yoda mouse. :_old:OldTimeRadio said:
Pet hamsters banned in Vietnam
By Andre Vornic
Vietnam has banned the sale and possession of hamsters, whose popularity has been soaring.
The Ministry of Agriculture says anyone caught with a hamster will be fined up to 30m dong ($1,900) - almost double the average annual wage in Vietnam.
The authorities say the creatures are a potential source of disease.
Officials have also expressed concern that the animals are imported from China and Thailand without proper licensing or controls.
In a tropical Asian country like Vietnam, hamsters are not a traditional pet of choice.
That role has normally been held by various types of fish.
But a combination of factors including growing incomes and the Chinese Year of the Rat have made the beady-eyed rodents highly desirable.
They have been trading for $10 to $20 each and are reported to be a hit with the young population of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, spawning a whole sub-culture of hamster forums and hamster clubs.
But the authorities are concerned.
Traded illegally over the Chinese or Thai borders, the hamsters are unlicensed and unchecked.
The Ministry of Agriculture has highlighted the risk of disease.
The animals are just one of many imports that escape adequate scrutiny or epidemiological control in Vietnam.
A recent survey alarmingly showed that most anti-malaria drugs - in Vietnam and other countries of the region - were fakes traced back to China.
And reports abound of other counterfeit or dangerous items sold for human consumption - including rather startling internet rumours of a trade in fake chicken's eggs.
Without reading all the posts here: I thought hamsters are native to the Syrian desert? Not sure where I got that idea from, though.