A sad end: more than half of stray dogs caught in Hong Kong are euthanised

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 October, 2015, 7:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 October, 2015, 7:00am

More than half of stray dogs caught in the past year were euthanised – a proportion an animal concern group called “unsatisfactory”.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department caught 2,747 strays between September last year and August this year, according to Secretary for Food and Health Dr Ko Wing-man in a written reply to the Legislative Council yesterday.

A total of 1,649 were euthanised, while 699 were adopted through animal welfare organisations.

Over the same period, the department received 6,537 complaints involving stray dogs.

Gloria Li Suk-fun, co-chairwoman of Stop – Save Hong Kong’s Cats and Dogs – said having more than half of dogs killed was “unsatisfactory”. She said it could be explained by the living environment in the city.

Lots of residences in Hong Kong do not allow people to keep dogs
Gloria Li Suk-fun

“Lots of residences in Hong Kong do not allow people to keep dogs. Public rental housing, private housing and even village houses do not allow dogs,” she said.

Li called for the concept of animal adoption to be strengthened, adding that there should be enough people to adopt if the dogs were kept alive.

The department launched a trial scheme in January on Cheung Chau and in Tai Tong, Yuen Long to trap, neuter and return dogs in an effort to slow down reproduction among strays. The department said it was not yet able to evaluate the effectiveness of the three-year programme.

Fewer stray dogs have been caught in the past five years, according to department figures released this month. The number dropped from 6,519 in 2010 to 3,676 last year.