Police, SPCA investigate another suspected dog poisoning

A warning post distributed by the SPCA in the New Territories following the recent reports of dog poisonings. Picture: SPCA
A warning post distributed by the SPCA in the New Territories following the recent reports of dog poisonings. Picture: SPCA

Authorities are investigating yet another case of suspected dog poisonings, reported just a day after activists demanded tougher measures following an apparent spike in animal cruelty cases.

A spokeswoman for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said its inspectors and police were currently in the Cha Kwo Ling neighborhood of Hong Kong’s Kwun Tong district after being notified about a case involving three dogs this morning.

“We received a call from a member of the public, saying three of the stray dogs that they have been feeding are suspected to have been killed by poisoning,” the spokeswoman told Coconuts HK.

“The three dogs, they’re all mongrels — black and tan. They died at three separate places. The first one was close to a stream, the second one underneath a car and a third one in the backyard of one of the houses.”

She said that while poisoning was suspected, the cause of death is currently unknown, adding the dogs’ corpses would be analyzed by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department to determine what happened.

“The last time this member of the public saw these dogs was last Saturday,” she said.

“SCPA inspectors as well as police are sweeping the area. At the moment they haven’t discovered any poison bait.

“The police will be… investigating this as a suspected animal cruelty [case].”

The case comes following an apparent spike in suspicious dog deaths including a spate earlier this month in the New Territories.

Distressing as it is, this weekend’s incident is far from the first case of its type in Hong Kong, which has seen hundreds of dogs poisoned over the past three decades (Coconuts TV documentary).

Late last year, several dogs were killed on Lantau island in what was believed to be intentional poisoning.

Cruelty to animals, including poisoning, can lead to imprisonment for up to three years and carry a maximum fine of HK$200,000 (US$25,500).

In response to the recent spate of incidents, activists on Sunday gathered outside the government headquarters to demand a thorough review of animal protection laws.

Evelyn Lam, founder of the group behind the demonstration, Paws Hero, said the killings showed that the city’s laws were outdated and penalties for abuse too light, according to RTHK.

Lam also called on pet owners to be more responsible.

Last week, food and health secretary Sophia Chan said that the government would review animal welfare laws to emphasize people’s liability towards their pets, while also moving to update traffic laws to make it mandatory to report collisions involving cats and dogs.

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