LCQ15: Suggestion to cover cats and dogs in Road Traffic Ordinance

     Following is a question by the Hon Alice Mak and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, in the Legislative Council today (October 18):


     Section 56 of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap. 374) stipulates that when an accident involving a vehicle has occurred on a road and caused damage to an animal, the driver of that vehicle must stop the vehicle and report the accident to the Police as soon as possible. However, that provision is not applicable to cats and dogs as the animals specified therein are horses, cattle, asses, mules, sheep, pigs and goats only. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) whether it has compiled statistics on the respective numbers of cats and dogs which were injured or killed, after being hit by vehicles, in each of the past five years; if so, of the details;

(2) whether it has compiled a list of locations where accidents of animals being hit by vehicles have frequently occurred; if so, of the lists compiled in the past five years as well as the respective numbers of accidents which occurred at each location and the respective numbers of various types of animals involved; if not, the reasons for that; and

(3) as the authorities indicated in June last year that, in the light of the views of the Subcommittee to Study Issues Relating to Animal Rights of this Council, they were preparing to review the relevant legislation with a view to incorporating cats and dogs into the scope of the aforesaid provision, of the progress of such work; when the authorities will introduce proposed legislative amendments to this Council and, before that, whether the authorities will conduct a public consultation on this issue; if public consultation will be conducted, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



     Having consulted the Transport and Housing Bureau, my consolidated reply to the question is as follows:

(1) and (2) The Government does not have statistics on the numbers of cats and dogs injured or killed after being hit by vehicles. The Transport Department (TD) also has not compiled a list of locations where animals have been hit by vehicles frequently. From road safety perspective, the current list of traffic accident black spots has been an effective way to facilitate review and enhancement of road safety. TD will review that list from time to time having regard to the traffic situation and traffic accident figures, and propose appropriate road safety enhancement measures at appropriate locations where necessary, such as placing suitable traffic signs.

(3) The Government attaches great importance to enhancing animal welfare. We will continue to work pragmatically and strike a reasonable balance between protecting animal welfare and safeguarding public hygiene and safety in the local context. Regarding the suggestion to cover cats and dogs in section 56 of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap. 374), we are reviewing the matter with reference to overseas practices. We will, upon conclusion of the review, consider amending the relevant legislation, and consult the Legislative Council and listen to the views of stakeholders in due course.

Ends/Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:55