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Pets

Three ways for Hong Kong to become a more pet-friendly city

  • Hong Kong does not make life easy for those who need to use guide dogs, much less pet owners using public transport
  • More liberal rules on pets in other parts of the world show that it doesn’t have to be this way
PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 January, 2019, 6:34pm
UPDATED : Friday, 11 January, 2019, 6:34pm

I refer to the letter from Dennis Li, “Ageing, lonely Hong Kong should relax rules on pets on all public transport” (January 5). I agree that the Hong Kong government should be more friendly towards pets.

In the United Kingdom, where I am now studying, people are allowed to bring their pets where they go, as they are allowed on public transport, without having to put their best friends into small, uncomfortable bags. This obviously is convenient for pet owners when they have to take their pets to a doctor in an emergency, and for those needing guide dogs.

Compare this to Hong Kong, when people take their pets out with them, they usually choose to put them into small bags or take a taxi. Sometimes the taxi driver will refuse to transport them as they are afraid the animal may stain the car. Moreover, maybe guide dogs are unfamiliar to most Hongkongers, so, if they appear on our buses, minibuses and in the malls, other people may feel uncomfortable.

Hong Kong needs 1,700 guide dogs, but where can they be trained?

Therefore, the government needs to work with the public transport companies and non-governmental organisations to set up some related rules, or areas that allow the free movement of pets around town. Not to speak of strengthening animal care and abuse laws and their enforcement to protect all pets. We all remember the horrible case of the Japanese Spitz that was first rescued from Victoria Harbour, but was then thrown to its death by the son of its owner. We need to become a more animal-friendly society.

Fok Pui-yi, Surrey