Hong Kong evicts big dogs from public housing
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2003:
HONG KONG–The Hong Kong Housing Authority on September 25,
2003 approved new rules, recommended by the regional government,
that will ban from public housing any dogs weighing more than 40
pounds and any dogs acquired after August 1.
Possession of the dogs prior to August 1 must be verified by
licensing, vaccination, or sterilization certificates. All dogs
must be licensed, vaccinated, sterilized, and registered with the
Housing Authority by the end of November.
Dogs will be excluded from elevators from 7 a.m. until 9
p.m., and will be evicted if they occasion two verified complaints.
Pigeons, wildlife, and domesticated farm animals remain
excluded, as under the previous regulations.
Cats, cage birds, rabbits, turtles, and fish continue to
About 30% of Hong Kong residents live in public housing.
Heatedly debated since May, the new rules represent the
first significant update of the Housing Authority provisions
pertaining to animals in 40 years, Hong Kong legislator David Chu
Yu-lin told the Asia for Animals conference in early September.
The original rules, Chu Yu-lin said, were written to
address problems with peasants resettled from land expropriated for
government projects in the New Territories, who were given
apartments to replace their former homesteads, and would arrive with
all their pigs, chickens, and sometimes goats.
Problems with dogs, Chu Yu-lin added, were never anticipated,
because few Hong Kong residents kept dogs in those days.
The Housing Authority proposed banning all pets in May, at
the height of the SARS panic, but scaled back the ban under
sustained criticism from the Hong Kong SPCA and the Hong Kong
Veterinary Association. Local singing star Karen Mok Man-wai
recorded a song protesting the ban, authored by her brother Trevor
Hong Kong Dog Lovers’ Group president Ivy Chan told the South
China Morning Post that a survey of 16 veterinarians found that 34
dogs and 17 cats had been killed at request of their keepers from
fear that the keepers would be evicted.
Amid the debate, the Hong Kong SPCA reported a decrease of
15% in the number of healthy homeless animals it killed in the year
since it began phasing out animal control duties, along with an
increase of 250 in adoptions. What that meant overall, however,
was unclear because statistics were not available from the
Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department, which now has
the primary responsibility for animal control.
The transition out of animal control, organizing the Asia
for Animals conference, and contesting the new Housing Authority
rules took a toll on the Hong Kong SPCA, including the March
resignation of executive director Chris Hanselman and the September
exit of his successor, Winnie Sek Wai-yu.
Veterinarian Pauline Taylor, who served as interim director between
Hanselman and Sek Wai-yu, was named new executive director on