Ageing society

Ageing, lonely Hong Kong should relax rules on pets on all public transport

  • As more seniors turn to pets to overcome the empty nest syndrome, rules on the MTR and other public transport should evolve
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 January, 2019, 4:34pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 January, 2019, 4:33pm

Hong Kong is faced with an ageing population plus a new norm of nuclear families. This makes empty nest syndrome all the more prevalent among the elderly. One of the trends to address the syndrome is to keep a pet, especially man’s best friend – a dog. Having pets is no longer the monopoly of the rich, lots of ordinary people also want to own a dog or cat for companionship (“Abused, abandoned Hong Kong pets need loving homes”, January 5).

Our public transport system has not been friendly to pets, especially dogs. Perhaps it is time to consider relaxing the restrictions on dog access.

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The government, and the public transport operators, should consider relaxing the restriction on dogs by allowing passengers to bring their pets onto public transport vehicles, subject to some socially acceptable rules such as: travel during off-peak hours only, pets kept in bags or on a leash and under muzzle when walking freely, plus stringent rules on cleaning up after them.

Dennis Li, Mid-Levels