Number of Hong Kong dogs taken in for observation after biting incidents on the rise
A total of 596 dogs were sent to government facilities in the last financial year as issued dog licences rose more than 50 per cent from 2005 to 2016
The number of dogs taken in by the authorities after biting incidents peaked last year, Hong Kong government data shows.
In the 2015-16 financial year, 2,293 stray dogs were caught, 596 dogs were taken in for observation following biting incidents and 710 prosecutions were launched, according to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.
Although the number of prosecutions and stray dogs caught have both been falling over the past five years, the number of dogs taken in following biting incidents rose on the previous year, when only 489 dogs were admitted for observation.
The proportion of Hongkongers keeping dogs as pets has been on the rise in recent years, according to government data.
Between 2005 and 2010, the number of dogs and cats kept as pets increased by 40 per cent, from 297,100 to 415,100, while dog licences issued by the government rose from 40,700 to 62,800 between 2005 and 2016, according to official statistics.
Under Hong Kong law, dogs need to be vaccinated against rabies, microchipped and licensed once they are more than five months old.
There have been a number of high-profile dog biting cases.
Last year, Cecilia Chui Woon-ho was fined HK$18,000 and told to have her two Tibetan mastiffs listed as dangerous animals after they viciously bit her neighbour, landing her in hospital for 13 days.
Also last year, So Tsz-mei was found not guilty of failing to restrain her dog when it attacked a Chow Chow and its owner in a pet park.