Hong Kong Spotlight – Pet-Friendly Policies under the Epidemic

The fifth wave of the COVID-19 epidemic in Hong Kong has eased a bit, and there are rumors that the government intends to carry out mandatory testing, together with a lockdown to find hidden patients in order to cut off all transmission chains. However, the government seems to be indecisive, and keeps saying that preparations are underway. There are even different versions of the lockdown, which inevitably makes the public worry that the government is not adequately prepared if the lockdown were to be implemented.

Humans can still help themselves during the lockdown? What about pets?

The World Dog Alliance (WDA) is concerned about two major issues. First, pets should be exempted from the lockdown. Many pet dogs in Hong Kong are used to defecating outside, a strict lockdown on pet owners would in effect deprive pets of the right of movement and address their physical needs. In Western countries, pets can be exempted from walking during lockdowns. The WDA believes that the Hong Kong government can take this into account.

Secondly, if a confirmed case is found during the mandatory testing, there will be no one to take care of the pets at home during the quarantine period. The WDA believes that the government can consider amending the rules to allow patients to bring their pets along with them for isolation. At the same time, Hong Kong should refer to the latest practice in Shenzhen, to set up a shelter to take care of the affected pets during the quarantine period.