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LCQ8: Dog poisoning cases

    Following is a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, to a question by the Hon Bernard Chan on dog poisoning cases in the Legislative Council today (May 2):


     It has been reported that a dog poisoner has struck again on Bowen Road and Black's Link recently, killing at least two dogs and injuring others. Similar incidents had happened in the past but no one has been arrested in relation to such incidents. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the number of dog poisoning cases, including fatal ones, reported in the past five years, broken down by year as well as by the district and road at which the cases took place; and the actions the Government had taken to tackle such cases?


Madam President,

     The Police only maintain statistics of dog poisoning cases occurring on Hong Kong Island, as such cases rarely occur in other parts of the territory.  The detailed breakdown of the number of such cases, as reported, by year and location is set out at Annex.  There were 37 dog poisoning cases on Hong Kong Island reported to the Police over the past five years, and dogs were actually poisoned in 20 of these cases (and eight of the cases were fatal).  When compared to the preceding five-year period, the number of fatal cases dropped by 67% (or 16 cases).  However, due to insufficient evidence, no suspects were arrested.  

     The Police attach importance to tackling the matter.  Apart from stepping up patrol at blackspots in the early mornings and evenings, the Police have also taken various steps to draw the public's attention to the matter.  These include distribution of leaflets to morning walkers at blackspots to collect intelligence and to alert them of the matter; posting Police reward notice (HK$50,000) at blackspots (between July 2005 and January 2007) to solicit information on dog poisoning; and alerting / educating the public on the proper handling of dogs (including the wearing of muzzles and prevention of dogs from eating unidentified food which may be poisoned bait) by publicising the issue in the TV programme "Police Report".

     The Police also cooperates with other departments on joint efforts to address the issue.  Recently, it conducted a joint operation with the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department along Black's Link and Bowen Road in November 2006, cautioning dog owners against, inter alia, dog poisoning cases.  It has also worked with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Dog Lover Community to remind their members to better handle their dogs.

     On promoting responsible pet ownership and deterring animal abuse, the Government has increased the maximum penalty for cruelty against animals through amending the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance (Cap. 169) in December 2006.  And recognising the importance of public education in the fight against animal cruelty, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) has issued some 3,500 advices in 2006 to appeal for responsible pet ownership.  Two relevant announcements of public interests were broadcast on 27 television channels and 12 local radio channels since February 2007.  AFCD has also distributed VCDs of the announcements to all schools in Hong Kong with a view to educating children about responsible pet ownership.  It is hoped that by raising statutory penalty and stepping up promotion, animal welfare could be better safeguarded in Hong Kong.

Ends/Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Issued at HKT 15:16


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