The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) adopted a new policy to hunt wild pigs in the city last month, which has led to public outcry. Recently, the department hunted wild pigs in the city again. Citizens expressed their discontent at the scene. In fact, the majority of the public does not agree with the government’s culling of wild pigs, and animal protection groups have submitted petitions requesting the revocation of the “culling order” and hope to meet with AFCD to discuss a better solution. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), the largest animal protection organization in Hong Kong, condemned AFCD’s and revealed that it had repeatedly reflected to the government its opposition to the culling of wild pigs, but the authorities turned a deaf ear to it, causing the organization’s veterinarians to consider a withdrawal from the government’s expert panel.
In the face of the public’s discontent, AFCD said that it would amend the law to expand the “no-feeding zone” and look into heavier penalties for feeding wild animals. In response to the demands of the animal protection groups, AFCD claimed that the culling policy was widely supported by experts and that there was no need to discuss the issue with animal protection groups. The response has further provoked the public.
Although the World Dog Alliance supports the law amendment, the legislative process is complicated and lengthy, and whether the authorities will enforce the law properly is also a concern. Before the legislation is enacted, the World Dog Alliance remains opposed to the use of culling to deal with the wild pig problem as each operation is costly and inefficient. This policy will only continue to add to the death toll and will not help solve the problem. What worries the World Dog Alliance is that once this precedent is set, the AFCD will do the same with other wild animals such as monkeys.
The World Dog Alliance hopes that AFCD will listen to public opinion and look for better ways to solve the problem. At the same time, WDA calls on the public to respect the nature of wild animals and to stop feeding them and disturbing their habits.