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Hong Kong – Animal Welfare and Cultural Issues

Hong Kong is a bustling city with a population of over 7 million people, and it is also home to a significant number of pets. In this article, we will explore the prevailing attitude towards animals and pets in Hong Kong, the laws regarding pet ownership, major animal charities, pet supply stores, and cultural taboos or sensitivities associated with different types of animals.

Prevailing Attitude to Animals and Pets

In Hong Kong, animals and pets are generally well-respected and valued as companions. Many residents in the city own pets, including dogs, cats, and birds, among others. Pet ownership is seen as a way to relieve stress and promote mental health. It is also common to see dogs accompanying their owners in public places, such as parks, beaches, and shopping areas. Many restaurants and cafes in Hong Kong also welcome pets in outdoor seating areas.

Laws Regarding Pet Ownership

In Hong Kong, there are laws and regulations regarding pet ownership to ensure the welfare of animals and protect public health. According to the Rabies Ordinance, pet dogs and cats must be licensed, vaccinated against rabies, and microchipped. Owners who fail to comply with these regulations can be fined.

In addition, there are also laws that regulate animal welfare. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance prohibits acts of cruelty towards animals, such as beating, kicking, and abandoning pets. Those who violate the law can be fined or imprisoned.

Major Animal Charities

There are several major animal charities in Hong Kong that are dedicated to promoting animal welfare and protecting the rights of animals. These charities work to rescue and rehabilitate animals, provide medical care, and promote responsible pet ownership. Here are a few examples:

  • The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Hong Kong: The SPCA is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1903. It provides various services, such as animal rescue and rehabilitation, education, and advocacy for animal welfare. The organization also operates a veterinary clinic that provides low-cost medical services to pets.
  • Hong Kong Dog Rescue (HKDR): HKDR is a non-profit organization that was established in 2003. It is dedicated to rescuing and rehoming abandoned and unwanted dogs in Hong Kong. The organization provides various services, such as veterinary care, foster care, and adoption services.
  • Hong Kong Animal Welfare Society (HKAWS): HKAWS is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2001. It is dedicated to promoting animal welfare and protecting the rights of animals. The organization provides various services, such as animal rescue and rehabilitation, education, and advocacy for animal welfare.

Pet Supply Stores

There are several pet supply stores in Hong Kong that offer a wide range of products for pets, including food, toys, accessories, and medical supplies. Some of these stores also offer online shopping, making it convenient for pet owners to purchase products for their pets. Here are a few examples:


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  • Pet Line: Pet Line is a pet supply store that offers a wide range of products for pets, including food, toys, and accessories. The store also offers grooming services and a loyalty program for customers.
  • Pet World: Pet World is a pet supply store that offers a wide range of products for pets, including food, toys, accessories, and medical supplies. The store also offers online shopping and delivery services.
  • Pets Central: Pets Central is a pet supply store that offers a wide range of products for pets, including food, toys, and accessories. The store also offers grooming services and veterinary care.

Cultural Taboos or Sensitivities Associated with Different Types of Animals

Hong Kong has a mix of both Eastern and Western cultures, which means that there are certain cultural taboos and sensitivities when it comes to animals.

  • Dog meat: Although it is illegal to consume dog meat in Hong Kong, it is still consumed in some areas of China. As such, it is considered a taboo topic and is not openly discussed.

  • Feng Shui: In Chinese culture, Feng Shui is a traditional practice that involves arranging items in a certain way to create balance and harmony. This practice also extends to pets, where certain animals are believed to bring good luck and fortune.

  • Birds: Birds are a popular pet in Hong Kong, especially the songbird. However, it is believed that the songbird should not be kept in a cage, as it is believed to bring bad luck. As such, bird owners often take their birds for a walk outside the cage.

In conclusion, Hong Kong is a pet-friendly city that takes animal welfare seriously. There are strict laws in place to protect animals, and a wide range of animal charities and organizations that provide care and support to animals in need. Additionally, there is no shortage of pet supply stores and services catering to a variety of pet needs. While there are certain cultural taboos and sensitivities when it comes to animals, Hong Kong remains a city that embraces pets as an important part of the community.


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