The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) has recently announced that a shop in Yau Ma Tei was confirmed to sell dog and cat meat. The Department and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) have jointly taken enforcement action at the shop and are preparing to prosecute the persons concerned.
There were media reports that a shop in Reclamation Street was found to have smuggled cooked dog and cat meat into Hong Kong and sold it in a licensed fresh food shop. Although the FEHD had received a complaint, it was dismissed after an inspection was carried out and nothing was found.
In response to the illegal sale of dog and cat meat in Hong Kong, Genlin, founder of the World Dog Alliance (WDA), said the government should reflect on why it did not actively follow up on the two complaints received last year. He said that law enforcement agencies are the backbone of Hong Kong’s civilised society, and the failure to deal with businesses suspected of breaking the law would encourage a perverse atmosphere. After the incident was exposed, the government departments concerned should conduct an in-depth investigation and punish any staff who neglected their duties.
Genlin believes that the Government and the Legislative Council should review the Dogs and Cats Ordinance. Under the existing legislation, anyone who slaughters or consumes or trades in the meat of dogs and cats is liable to a maximum fine of $5,000 and six months’ imprisonment, but this is no longer sufficient as a deterrent and it is necessary to amend the legislation to increase the term of imprisonment and the amount of fine.
Founded in Hong Kong, the WDA has travelled the world over the past decade calling for legislation to ban the eating of dogs and cats. Genlin said that Shenzhen and Zhuhai in China have enacted regulations to ban the eating of dogs and cats, and no cases of violation have been seen yet. He hoped that the Hong Kong government would, when dealing with the incident, bring up the two offences of illegal trafficking and smuggling of dog and cat meat together to form a typical case of banning the eating of dogs and cats, so as to deter the relevant crimes.