ANIMAL welfare groups and lawmakers have criticised new regulations on animal trading and dog breeding as a “big step backward in civilisation”. They also expect ‘hobby breeders’ in homes to increase, and that the authorities would not have enough manpower to enforce the law.
The Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Trading and Breeding) Regulations (公眾.生(動物及禽鳥)(售賣及繁育)規例) will come into effect on 20 March to replace the existing rules, with heavy penalties of up to HK$100,000 in .nes.
There will be three types of licences and one type of permit for any person who sells a dog – the Animal Trader Licence, Dog Breeder Licence Category A and Category B, and a one-off permit for dog owners.
‘Hobby breeders’ – keeping up to four female dogs – will have to obtain a category A licence, while the category B licence will be for larger commercial operations. One-off permits will be for dog owners who wish to transfer the ownership of their pets for money or other bene.ts in return. According to the authorities, a 700-square-foot unit can house four medium-sized dogs, or seven small dogs.
Lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching (毛孟靜) criticised the government for encouraging unethical business, saying that more people will use the category A licence as a shield to breed animals at home. She said there should be just one type of licence – for large-scale breeders.
The non-profit making Veterinary Services Society (非牟利獸醫服務協會) called this “the biggest step backward in civilisation.”
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 8 February 2017)
Animal trading and breeding
SPCA: pet shops