Time to Increase Penalties for Animal Cruelty

On January 1, a bull terrier was beaten into death after it was accused of attacking sheep at a farm. Although the farm owner was arrested, his son tried to justify his father’s behaviour as they believed it was normal to beat a dog.

According to the dog owner, the bull terrier had no teeth but the farm owner insisted that it was offensive to his sheep and beat it to death. He refused to stop even though the dog owner begged for mercy.

This incident shows that many people in the rural areas still lack the awareness of animal protection and do not respect the life of other species. Both legal and educational approaches are needed to solve the problem in Hong Kong.

The World Dog Alliance (WDA) has been working with Legislative Councillor Gary Chan Hak-kan to promote animal protection education in schools. Last year, the WDA prepared over 100 pages of teaching materials and submitted them to the Legislative Council and the Education Bureau for their consideration.

In addition, the WDA has been calling for heavier penalties for animal cruelty. The Government has consulted the public on this issue and intends to increase the penalty in line with public opinion. Unfortunately, the legislation has not yet been enacted. With the start of the new legislative session, the WDA hopes that more legislators will take an interest in animal welfare and push the Government to enact legislation as soon as possible.