Deterrence aspect of pet ban helps limit number of strays

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 April, 2010, 12:00am

I refer to the letter by Cecilia Ledesma ('No-pets policy in estates boosts number of abandoned strays', March 19).

I do agree that no one wants to see stray animals on our streets. But I cannot see any direct relation between the no-pets policy in public housing estates and the increasing number of strays.

The reason we have large numbers of stray animals is because many of Hong Kong's so-called animal lovers are irresponsible and lack the commitment needed to look after a pet.

They think it would be great fun to have one but then, after a few weeks, they become bored with it. They have not thought it through and do not appreciate the difficulties involved in looking after a pet at home.

Most Hong Kong people simply do not have enough time to care for a pet.

Adults work long hours and students have to study hard, especially during weekdays.

Many of them are also reluctant, for example, to clean up after their dog when they take it for a walk.

They quickly lose interest in being pet owners and so we have more discarded animals in the city.

These selfish people are to blame for this problem and not the government with its no-pets policy on public estates.

In fact, this policy helps to reduce the number of strays, because it deters tenants from keeping pets at home.

Some tenants say that their rights are not being respected, but it is simply inappropriate to keep pets in residential estates in Hong Kong.

Living space is limited here. Most flats are too small to accommodate a family and a pet, especially a dog.

There is so little space for it to move around in a small apartment.

That is cruel when you have an animal that needs to expend a lot of energy.

Also, in a densely populated estate, a pet can create problems for neighbours.

A dog that is not being looked after properly may bark a lot and, if it is barking late at night, this can disturb other residents who are trying to sleep.

This could result in disputes between neighbours.

Officials recognise that the concerns of residents who do not keep pets, and are fearful of being disturbed, do matter.

I fully support the government's present policy. Tenants on public estates who are desperate to have a pet can always move out and find accommodation in a village, where they will have more space.

Paul Hui Sai-cheong, Tseung Kwan O