‘Big and fierce’: Hong Kong High Court rejects appeal over Tibetan mastiff attack

Judge said dog owner, who had been fined HK$6,000, had responsibility to ensure the canine would not break loose from his home

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 9:02am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 9:02am

Hong Kong’s High Court rejected an appeal on Tuesday to overturn the conviction of a dog owner for failing to prevent his 45kg Tibetan mastiff from attacking people.

In dismissing his appeal, the court found Chung Kin-san, a watercolour artist, had not taken reasonable measures to keep the huge canine under control.

The dog owner was convicted and fined HK$6,000 at Tuen Mun Court in February after the Tibetan mastiff left his home in Yuen Long and bit a man in July last year.

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The victim, who was a neighbour and did nothing to provoke the four-year-old dog, sustained hand and thigh injuries in the attack.

After the conviction, Chung filed an appeal on the grounds that he had taken steps to keep the dog under control, citing the locking of the mastiff in its dog house after 8pm every night as a preventive measure.

But deputy High Court judge Johnny Chan Jong-herng asserted that the dog owner had the responsibility to ensure the canine would not break loose.

“The dog is big and fierce,” the judge said, adding that it had mounted an unprovoked attack on a passer-by in a public place.

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Chan also questioned whether the dog house had ever been locked properly in the first place.

“None of the grounds for the appeal stand,” Chan concluded.

Chung, as a dog keeper, should have put in place strengthened security measures to prevent the tall dog from jumping over the fence around the house, the judge said.

The court would not overturn a conviction unless it could be proved that justice could be done in so doing, he asserted.

Chan ruled that the magistrates’ court had not erred in convicting Chung and that its verdict would be upheld.