Pet trade fines may rise

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 November, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 November, 1995, 12:00am

PET hawkers may be threatened with a 12-fold rise in penalties and more frequent raids under plans to crack down on sales and breeding.

The Agriculture and Fisheries Department has proposed an increase of fines for hawking animals from $2,000 to $25,000 and Urban Councillors want closer ties between the two bodies.

Jennifer Chow Kit-bing told yesterday's council meeting that cats and dogs from illegal breeding farms could pose health risks and more stringent controls were needed, disputing the department's statements that health risks were slight.

'Previously, the department said illegal hawking was not serious. If so, then why is it necessary to raise the fines so seriously? They're contradicting themselves,' Ms Chow said.

'I suggest there should be more joint actions taken with the department.' The council's Deputy Chairman and chairman of the Markets and Street Traders Select Committee, Ip Kwok-chung, said the department wanted to step up deterrence because the sale of such animals was no longer confined to the streets.

'These animals are also being sold in some pet shops and the department says prosecution should be stepped up,' Mr Ip said. 'We shall improve co-operation . . . but both departments can only prosecute under our own ordinances.'