What Philippines’ Duterte can teach Hong Kong dog owners about cleaning up a mess

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2018, 4:47pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2018, 4:46pm

I understand the feelings of local residents regarding Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who recently visited Hong Kong (“Protesters blast ‘monster’ Duterte”, April 12). However, Hongkongers may have a thing or two to learn from the controversial leader about how to clean up their own “cesspool”.

Walking on Caine Road at Mid-Levels every day is like walking a minefield. A big poster saying “Clean up after your dog” is clearly largely ignored, or interpreted as pouring several drops of water and job done. Hundreds of toddlers and small children walk that street everyday. Not all are capable of avoiding the minefield and so carry the remains home, and into schools, public transport and sometimes even mouths.

Hong Kong dog owners still not cleaning up after their pets

Dog owners in overpopulated areas of Hong Kong do face a challenge. In the UK, you would not be allowed to adopt a dog unless you have proof of suitable living conditions for it. Living with a dog in a tiny flat in central Hong Kong with no green surroundings is a personal choice, but it should come with additional responsibilities for your pet and respect for neighbours.

Deploying riot police to close the world-famous island of Boracay to clean it up might seem excessive. But launching a campaign with the deployment of civil servants to get dog owners accustomed to the rules, or face the maximum fine of HK$10,000 or fixed penalty of HK$1,500, might make them more considerate. I want to hold my child’s hand and look straight ahead while walking those streets.

Maria Ignatova, Mid-Levels