Following a string of animal abuse cases, local charity, AnimalSaver HK, organised a march yesterdayto encourage the public to lobby for tighter laws to protect animals.
Participants gathered at Chater Garden in Central at 4.00pm, and made their way to the Legislative Council Complex in Admiralty, where they held a silent vigil for Siu Pak, a Japanese Spitz that was thrown from the roof of a 23-storey residential block on April 4.
Earlier this month, five more dogs died from suspected poisoning in the New Territories.
According to AnimalSaver HK, nearly 5,000 people joined the march to show their support. Many brought their own dogs to the protest.
“The best thing I saw was parents bringing their children along to march. It’s a great way to teach children to love and care for animals," said Cara Ma, a dog owner who was at the march.
The group has urged the government to set up a special unit to handle animal cruelty cases, in addition to increasing penalties as deterrent for abusing animals.
Hebe Cheung, who also joined the march with her dog, said she was marching to push for the creation of such a unit.
“I want them to help all kinds of animals. Their lives matter, too,” she added.
Ricco Cheung, head of AnimalSaver HK, hopes that all the animal protection organisations in Hong Kong can co-operate on the issue.
“We just want to improve and change animal protection laws. I hope these demands are brought to the LegCo members for real change to take place.”
According to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance, cruelty towards animals could lead to a maximum penalty of three years in jail and a HK$200,000 fine.
Sophia Chan Siu-chee, the Secretary for Food and Health, stated that the police and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department received 997 reports of cruelty to animals between 2014 to September-2017. But in that time, only 65 people were prosecuted for the crime, and 55 of them convicted. (SCMP)
Another march is organised for May 6.