It's not often that I have two opportunities in one week to praise Hong Kong's politicians, but last night's TV news reported that the Legislative Council passed a bill increasing the maximum penalties for cruelty to animals. Good for them!
However, most cruel treatment to animals in Hong Kong (and even more so on the Mainland) more often reflects ignorance and failure to understand their needs than deliberate nastiness. For example, a vet told me on Monday of someone who keeps three large dogs (Labrador Retrievers) on a small rooftop and never takes them out for a walk.
Anyone who doubts that many Hong Kong people need more education in this area obviously failed to watch TVB's Beautiful Cooking (美女廚房) contest a few weeks ago (22nd October). The audience laughed when some brainless bimbo clumsily dropped a live octopus on the floor twice, and again when another octopus, obviously distressed, was thrashing around wildly trying to escape another brainless bimbo who was attempting to lift it out of a tank.
Don't bother commenting that "brainless bimbo" is not a PC term - I know. But the octopus is an intelligent creature that can feel pain; the only dumb animals on this show were the contestants.
Making It Better:
There are many dedicated people campaigning for better treatment of animals in Hong Kong; here are a few:
- Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Hong Kong)
- Animal Earth
- Hong Kong Dog Rescue - this site also has a useful list of other animal welfare organisations in the territory