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LCQ10: Cases of dog poisoning and finding of poisoned bait

     Following is a question by the Hon Tanya Chan and a written reply by the Acting Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Gabriel Leung, in the Legislative Council today (January 12):


     It has been reported that incidents of dogs killed by poisoned meat occurred from time to time at Bowen Road in Mid-Levels, and more than 100 dogs have been fatally poisoned so far.  Recently, some members of the public have found poisoned baits again in the vicinity of the aforesaid area, indicating that the problem has not yet been solved.  In view of the suspected wilful poisoning of and cruelty to dogs, will the Government inform this Council:

(a)  of the number of cases the Government received in the past four years on dogs fatally poisoned or poisoned meat found in the vicinity of Bowen Road; whether it had followed up on these cases; if so, of the details and results; if not, the reasons for that;

(b)  given that it has been reported that most of the dogs fatally poisoned in the aforesaid area had owners, whether the Government has stepped up publicity among the dog owners in that area in view of the above incidents, so as to raise their concern and awareness of fatal poisoning of dogs, and to inform them what they should do if they encounter such situations; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(c)  whether the Government will consider stepping up patrol in the aforesaid area and other popular locations for walking dogs, so as to prevent the law-breakers from continuing to fatally poison dogs; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(d)  in view of the fatal poisoning of dogs or other serious infringement of animals' rights and safety, whether the Government will consider reviewing the existing legislation and law enforcement guidelines on protection of animals' rights, so as to achieve greater deterrent effect; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



(a)  The numbers of reports received by the Police over the past four years on dog poisoning and finding of poisoned bait on Hong Kong Island are at Annex.

     The Police always attach great importance to such cases.  Recent cases of dog poisoning and finding of poisoned bait that happened in the vicinity of Bowen Road are being investigated by the regional crime unit of the Hong Kong Island Police Region.

(b) & (c)  The Police has stepped up patrols in the crime scenes and the nearby areas to prevent the recurrence of these cases.  Meanwhile, in order to solve the crimes quickly and to alert the public to the incidents, police officers have been deployed to distribute leaflets and to put up posters in the vicinity of the crime scenes.  The public are encouraged to provide information for the investigation and dog owners are reminded to take proper care of their dogs and muzzle them while walking them.  The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department also calls on dog owners to take good care of their dogs when taking them out, e.g. keeping them on a leash and muzzling them whenever necessary in order to prevent them from eating food left on roadsides.

(d)  The Government reviews from time to time whether animal rights are adequately protected under the existing legislation.  In 2006, the Government substantially increased the penalty for cruelty to animals from a fine of $5,000 and imprisonment of six months to a fine of $200,000 and imprisonment of three years.  Since the implementation of the revised penalties, the overall figures relating to complaints and reports of suspected cruelty to animals have declined, reflecting the strong deterrent effect of the relevant legislation.  We consider that the best way to combat dog poisoning cases is to step up patrol and encourage the public to provide information for assisting the police investigation.  Besides, as stated above, dog owners should also take good care of their dogs.

Ends/Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Issued at HKT 12:40


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