Night owls and caged birds don't mix, animal-lovers tell club
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Central hot spot Dragon-i is ruffling the feathers of a local animal rights group because it has caged dozens of birds and put them on display.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) Asia-Pacific says a nightclub is no place for the small winged creatures, and it should stop displaying them.
'Birds shouldn't live inside cages ... especially birds [around] nightclubs. Imagine all the smoke, the noise, the music and the lights going on and on every day,' said Rebecca Chui, campaign co-ordinator for Peta Asia-Pacific, based in the city.
Ms Chui said the birds, including many budgies, were located in a large cage outside the club and in smaller cages near a balcony. Peta hoped to find new homes for the animals because they could no longer survive by themselves in the wild, Ms Choi said.
The issue has been building since the end of last year, when the group received several complaints. By early February, Ms Chui had sent a letter to Gilbert Yeung Kei-lung, the owner of Dragon-i, after a Peta representative visited the club.
'The birds are subjected to smoke, noise, flashing lights and other unnatural influences,' she wrote. 'The birds appeared to move very little, perhaps because of anxiety caused by the noise.'
Those concerns, along with others, were raised again this month when an American veterinarian wrote to Mr Yeung on behalf of Peta Asia-Pacific.
Mr Yeung said the birds were 'treated with love and care'.
Mr Yeung, the son of entertainment tycoon Albert Yeung Sau-shing, said he was a bird lover, there were no birds inside his club and that HK$20,000 to HK$30,000 was budgeted every month for their care.
'We do have specialists who take care of the birds on a daily basis; we have professional people who feed them ... we have professional people looking after them,' he said. 'We do look after them really well.'
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Hong Kong) has looked into the bird situation at Dragon-i. Although it found no wrongdoing, the group said improvements could be made to better the welfare of the animals, such as placing the birds in bigger cages, allowing them to sleep more at night and exposing them to less noise, a spokeswoman said.
Dragon-i was in another outdoor flap last summer when it roped off a 256 square metre area near its entrance that is public space.