Following online outrage sparked by Hong Kong authorities’ decision to put down a dog that had snuck aboard a cargo ship headed there from Thailand, HK’s Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFCD) says it stands by their actions even as a petition demanding their apology takes off.
“Stray animals received by the department will by observed for no less than four days. This only applies to local stray animals and not to illegally imported animals,” an AFCD spokesperson told our colleagues at Coconuts Hong Kong via email.
They also confirmed that they received a call from a shipping company on March 11 and 12, saying that a dog had boarded their ship and that the company believed it was a stray.
“This is a special case and the department will review the procedures for handling cases that involve illegally imported animals [to Hong Kong] with a view to improving the relevant processing procedures,” they said.
If you’re wondering what happened to the body of “cargo dog”, AFCD told Coconuts Hong Kong that it is still being kept by the department. “If anyone has any information on the dog before it boarded the cargo ship, contact the department,” they added.
Meanwhile, a petition demanding an apology by the AFCD, launched by Democratic Party lawmaker and animal lover Roy Kwong, has collected over 30,000 signatures in less than 48 hours — many of the backers were Thai people angered by the news, reported Hong Kong Free Press.
“The AFCD has yet to explain why it chose to kill the dog in less than 24 hours, without quarantining it first,” Kwong said while leading a protest at Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices in Hong Kong’s Sham Shui Po district this morning.
“It should be taking care of the dog, not kill the dog.”
Additional Reporting by Coconuts Hong Kong