Hong Kong should step up efforts against animal abuse
When it comes to finding dog-friendly neighbourhoods or services, Hong Kong can be rather tough and unforgiving. We have a intense shortage of public parks or places for dogs to roam around, as most major metropolis parks are off-limits to them.
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A 2016 survey by petfood Industry of 27,000 online consumers rated Hong Kong 2nd in Asia in pet ownership, with 35 for each cent of interviewees saying they kept pets, after Japan??￡¤s 37 for each cent and ahead of South Korea??￡¤s 31 for each cent.
With government statistics showing a minimum of a quarter of a million dogs sharing cramped living spaces in our densely populated town, animal rights activists would tell you that it is impractical or even downright cruel to raise pets here.
Meanwhile, after the festive rush has died down, reality sets in when we witness a great deal of puppies bought as Christmas gifts dropped off at animal shelters or becoming abandoned.
Numerous folks, together with children, often feel the urge to own or buy a pet simply because they could be attracted with the cuteness of your animal. Sadly, their impulse is often not backed from the sensibilities or know-how to care for these animals or appreciate the much-preached dictum that ???a dog is for life??¨¤.
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Hong Kong has much to learn from neighbouring Taiwan. I recently met a member of the Legislative Yuan (Taiwan??￡¤s main legislative body), Wang Yu-min, who has been pushing for greater rights and welfare for animals, especially dogs and cats.
Taiwanese legislator Wang Yu-min has been pushing for greater rights and welfare for animals. picture: WDA/pANOS
Because her first term started in 2012, Wang has done her utmost to introduce landmark amendments to broaden the scope of Taiwan??￡¤s Animal protection Law. Changes she has released incorporate the banning of dog and cat meat consumption, a ban over the mercy killing of stray animals, increasing penalties and sentences for animal cruelty, and recently the introduction of the 12-year compulsory animal protection education towards the national curriculum, the first of its variety in Asia.
As an international city, we should show our progressiveness within the area of animal protection and develop into champions in improving animal welfare.
The introduction of compulsory education on animal protection might be a substantial and innovative step to raise awareness in the significantly broader and deeper way. Educating our children can fundamentally shape the mindsets of future generations to help realise far-reaching attitude changes.NGAI W.T.
Hong Kong dogs enjoy a walk in Sheung Wan. picture: Nora Tam
Like Taiwan, Hong Kong is also seeing changing attitudes as dogs are now widely seen as pets, long-term companions, or even substitute children inside of a family.
We often see high-profile cases of animal torture or abuse staying exposed on social media top to substantial public outrage, this sort of as naming and shaming, and causing criminal prosecution.