Today afternoon, 300 Hong Kong animal lovers, including members of 34 animal protection groups, 5 lawmakers, plus a few pets, marched from the Chater Garden in Central to the Civic Square in Admiralty, shouting slogans like “Support Animal Protection Law; Say No to Careless Enactment!”, “U may Dislike Animals, but Don’t Hurt them!”, “Raise Penalty for Animal Cruelty, Ban them from Keeping Pets for Life!”
The representatives presented a “Hong Kong Animal Welfare Law – Civil Draft” to the HK SAR government via lawmaker, Claudia Mo, urging the authorities to amend Cap. 169 Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance in an all-round way, including, e.g., promoting animal welfare in farms. imposing heavier caring responsibilities on pet owners and pet shops, protecting the ecology regarding releasing live animals and animal keeping in zoos, raising the current maximum penalty for animal cruelty from three years’ imprisonment to seven years, requiring traffic to take into consideration animal safety, prohibiting circus. Note: Australian animal rights activist Joey Carbstrong, however, thinks that the phrase animal welfare should be replaced by animal liberation, for there is no humane way to kill someone who does not want to die.
Lawmaker Gary Fan pointed out that the outdated animal protection ordinance of HK lags way behind the international standard. Lawmaker Au Nok-hin criticized certain District Council members and lawmakers for their impracticable proposals to deal with HK wild boars, e.g., Wong Kwok-hing suggested the government to ship the boars to uninhabited islands, Kenneth Lau Ip-keung, the lawmaker and chairman of rural body Heung Yee Kuk urged the government to consider setting up a hunting team, or even introducing natural predators to kill boars. Lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen said that animals are a group even more vulnerable than senior citizens for they can neither speak nor vote. Lawmaker Eddie Chu noted that redevelopment of villages in the New Territories will endanger thousands of community animals. Lawmaker Claudia censured the government for caring much more about pets than animals.
Cover Photo credit: Janet Leung