• Fri
  • Sep 19, 2014
  • Updated: 6:20am
NewsHong Kong

MTR will review policy after death of dog on tracks sparks outrage

Operations chief tells protesters that the corporation will act after outcry at dog's death

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 August, 2014, 4:42pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 August, 2014, 1:27pm


  • Yes: 57%
  • No: 43%
23 Aug 2014
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 500

The MTR Corporation has promised to teach staff how to handle animals that wander onto the tracks after the death of a dog hit by a train led to public outrage.

Operations director Dr Jacob Kam Chak-pui made the pledge yesterday when confronted by about 100 protesters.

"We are deeply sorry about our failure to rescue the dog," he told the protesters at the MTR headquarters in Kowloon Bay yesterday afternoon.

"Our frontline staff have not received training on how to deal with such incidents, but we promise that we will set up guidelines and a standard operating procedure for emergency cases for our frontline staff, such as this one."

It will seek advice from animal welfare organisations to help design training and handling methods. A team will also be set up to investigate the handling of Wednesday's incident and a report will be released in about a week, the corporation said.

The dog was hit and killed by a cross-border train from Guangzhou at Fanling Station shortly after 10am on Wednesday.

It had been briefly seen by staff and passengers at neighbouring Sheung Shui station at 9.50am. Trains were halted while station staff tried unsuccessfully to coax the dog back onto the platform.

The dog then hid in the gap under the platform, the MTR said. Trains were allowed to move in and out at 9.58am when the control centre considered the area safe. Drivers were instructed to operate trains manually and at a reduced speed.

At 10.09am, the dog was spotted at the Fanling station by a member of staff, who signalled an incoming train to stop. Station staff launched a search but could not find the dog.

The train was then allowed to depart, and shortly afterwards, the animal was found dead on the track, the MTR said.

Watch: Death of dog on MTR tracks sparks outrage in Hong Kong

Images of the dog trying to get onto the platform, and of its body after it was killed, have been circulated widely on social media.

By yesterday evening, more than 90,000 people had signed an online petition expressing anger and dismay over the MTR's handling of the incident.

Fanling resident Cheung Wai-yee, who claimed to know the dog's owner, said the MTR should have called the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department on the two occasions the dog was seen.

"It should have asked the department to seek the dog's owner by scanning the [dog's] microchip," Cheung said.

Cheung wants to retrieve the carcass but fears it may have been dumped.

Cheung had asked the Food and Environmental Hygiene department and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department about its whereabouts but neither could give him a clear answer.

An MTR spokeswoman said the company had called the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department on Wednesday and followed its instructions to pack the body, label the package and put it in a refuse-collection centre near Fanling station.

A spokesman for the department said that if the body of an animal had been brought to one of its collection points, the department's contractor would treat the body with powdered bleach and seal it in an airtight bag before taking it to a landfill.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on Thursday criticised the MTR Corporation for not enlisting people with experience and training in handling animals, saying the death could have been prevented.

Leung Chi-sing, an MTR train driver and a district councillor, said staff lacked training in handling animals on the tracks and no tools were available at stations to catch animals.



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This article is now closed to comments

I thought the furore odd too until I saw a video of the event, at ****youtu.be/C24DoFHuaUI
The staff were unconscionable, and the poor dog died a horrific death as a result. I am glad HK showed so much compassion over a miscarriage of justice for an animal. The constant protests and marches are however draining.
Those who criticize the development of this event should watch the video first, as it may change their views.
That kind of thing, sadly, just happens. Why does everybody in China and Hog Kong seem to love being in a state of outrage? If they halted all train traffic until they were somehow able to catch the dog or scare him away people would be outraged because of late trains. I don't believe ANYONE wanted to see the dog get killed. Some people are just not happy unless they are persecuting somebody about something. Is that left over from the cultural revolution? You would figure everyone had enough of that after how many million deaths due to persecution?
Every problem in HK brings a reference to the Cultural Revolution! Talk about bias and blanket opinion.
Do we mention the Potato Famine brought about by Queen Victoria towards Ireland every time we think of Britain? Or the Spanish Inquisition every time we think of the Catholic Church? Or Galileo being imprisoned by the Church for thinking that the world revolves around the sun, every time we talk about astronomy? Or the white people annihilating native inhabitants of US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania every time we think of so-called white people?
I strongly condemn the staff involved in this incident. The rescue attempt is not only inadequate, but absurd. I feel so sorry to the family of those staff to have such cold blooded members with them.
Those staff in MTR must have been blinded by WORK and MONEY but totally forgot the most important value in life - humanity.
And what if it happened to be a suicidal man on the tracks who refuses to leave ?
Amazing ...... All the hoop la regarding a stray dog!! Under the situation, MTR did the right thing
Blame (if any) should be directed at the registered owner of the dog for failing to keep their animal under control, at all times.
Review of policies?? Just learn to use your brain again, and if you don't have on ask someone who does. If MTR has staff that needs to be taught how to use a brain, they have the wrong staff.
MTR has been one of the longest monopoly. It needs competition. Preferably a train system that is run by drivers that knows how to stop for a dog.
The Polling......
As a matter of fact this poll is only for English speakers many of them are not HKgers live a totally different lives from the common HKgers, therefore this poll is going to be unrepresentative. I can assure you, if the poll has included non-English speaking HKgers or only for non-English speaking HKgers, it would show a entirely different picture, and there would be a lot of NO's in the results. Ever heard of linguistic determinism?




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