Bowen Road Dog Prisoner: Animal Laws in Hong Kong

Ma, Chun Wai (Daniel)

2018         BSSC COMM - JOUR INTL

16 Min


Since 1990, poison baits have been found along popular dog walking routes such as Bowen Road and Black's Link. At least 200 dogs have been poisoned, and the culprit is still not found. | Sarah James, a dog owner, said that her dog was very painful after being poisoned and she felt very helpless. Although it survived, it was left with a sequela of epilepsy. | The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is assisting in the investigation. Fiona Woodhouse, Deputy Director of Animal Welfare Department at the Association, points out that it would be difficult for them to trace these culprits and not easy to prosecute them. | Amanda Whitfort, a legal scholar, explains that since what the offenders do is putting out poisoned bait, unless he or she is arrested on spot, it is difficult to take them to court under the current legislation. Since 1930, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance (Cap 169) has not been amended. The definition of "cruel treatment" in this Ordinance is outdated. Sally Andersen is the founder of the Hong Kong Dog Rescue. She said the Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Sale and Breeding) Regulation (Cap 139B) was introduced last year. The profiteers might exploit the loopholes of laws. For example, they could sell dogs in the name of adoption… | Amanda Whitfort also points out that Cap 139B has been an important step in the modernization of the law but the progress is still slow. The legislation covers only animal sales while other areas are not included. | Claudia Mo Man-ching, a Legislative Council member, believes that Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-Ngor does not see animal rights as important and so not much will change during her term of office. | Amanda Whitfort reiterates the need to amend the law. Offenders should be prosecuted even if they just put out poison baits and no evidence should be needed for conviction…

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