Retiree jailed two months for killing stray dog with poison-laced meat

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 January, 2014, 3:59am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 January, 2014, 4:25am

A retired man was yesterday jailed for two months for "cold-bloodedly" condemning a stray dog to a "slow and painful" death by poisoning, after his wife was allegedly chased by stray dogs and injured her leg.

Passing sentence, Acting Principal Magistrate Li Wai-chi described Tsang Hoi-tong as "utterly selfish and cold-blooded".

Tsang, 64, had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of cruelty to animals in Tuen Mun Court.

Li also reiterated the importance of protecting animal rights in a civilised society.

"All animals have the right to live and co-exist with humans and other animals. As a civilised society, we must respect the lives of all beings on our planet. Stray animals are less fortunate and call for our extra compassion," he said, adding that killing them with poisoned meat resulted in a slow and painful death.

Earlier, the court heard that on September 7, a man living in a Yuen Long village house saw a stray dog lying outside his home next to a plastic bag containing black substances. He reported the case to police.

On September 10, Tsang was spotted placing poisoned chicken meat outside the man's house and was later arrested.

Under caution, Tsang told police officers: "I was chased by dogs before and I have to poison them." He also admitted to having mixed pesticides with chicken meat to poison dogs on September 7.

The magistrate also criticised Tsang for ignoring the safety of others.

"The defendant's action also disregarded the possibility that not just stray dogs, but other animals, such as birds and cats, and even young children may pick up the meat and eat it," Li said. "The poison itself could also pose a threat to the environment."

In yesterday's mitigation submissions, Tsang's lawyers said that his wife fell off her bicycle after she was chased by stray dogs.

She hurt her leg in the alleged attack and still needed to walk with a stick, the court heard.

According to the prosecution, Tsang said under caution in an interview with police that he was furious about the incident, which triggered the offence.

Cruelty to animals carries a maximum sentence of three years' imprisonment and a fine of up to HK$200,000.