Legislative Council

LC Paper No. LS 259/98-99

Paper for the House Committee Meeting
of the Legislative Council
on 24 September 1999

Legal Service Division Report on
Adaptation of Laws (No. 28) Bill 1999

Object of the Bill

To adapt certain Ordinances and their subsidiary legislation to bring them into conformity with the Basic Law and with the status of Hong Kong as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.

LegCo Brief Reference

2. ESB CR3/4/3231/91(98) dated 8 July 1999 issued by the Economic Services Bureau.

Date of First Reading

3. 14 July 1999.


4. This Bill adapts 12 Ordinances on matters relating to animals and plants which are listed at Annex A and a summary of the proposed amendments in the Bill is set out in Annex B. Most of the proposed amendments are terminological changes. The term "Crown" is adapted to "State" in some regulations (see Note 1 of Annex B to this Report) but is generally adapted to "Government" (see Note 2).

5. If enacted, the Bill, other than Schedule 2, will take retrospective effect from 1 July 1997 to ensure that there is consistency in the interpretation of all laws on and after 1 July 1997. Clause 2 of the Bill states that Schedule 2 shall come into operation or be deemed to have come into operation on the commencement of sections 4 and 5 of the Dogs and Cats (Amendment) Ordinance 1997 (97 of 1997). According to L.N. 153 of 1999, the Amendment Ordinance has come into operation on 11 June 1999. The retrospective effect will not apply to provisions involving criminal offences or penalties.

Public Consultation

6. There has not been any public consultation on the Bill.

Consultation with the LegCo Panel

7. No consultation with any LegCo Panel on the details of the Bill has been carried out.


8. The adaptations of this Bill are straight-forward and the legal and drafting aspects are in order. It is recommended that Second Reading debate may be resumed.


Prepared by

HO Ying-chu, Anita
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
20 September 1999

Annex A

List of Ordinances affected by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 28) Bill 1999

1.Public Health (Animals and Birds) Ordinance (Cap. 139)Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Keeping of Cattle, Sheep and Goats) Regulations (Cap. 139 sub. leg.)Dairies Regulations (Cap. 139 sub. leg.)Poultry (Slaughtering for Export) Regulations (Cap. 139 sub. leg.)Importation of Equines (Prohibition) Order (Cap. 139 sub. leg.)Public Health (Animals) (Boarding Establishment) Regulations (Cap. 139 sub. leg.)Public Health (Animals) (Riding Establishment) Regulations (Cap. 139 sub. leg.)
2.Dogs and Cats Ordinance (Cap. 167)
3.Pounds Ordinance (Cap. 168)
4.Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance (Cap. 169)Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations (Cap. 169 sub. leg.)
5.Fisheries Protection Ordinance (Cap. 171)
6.Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance (Cap. 187)
7.Plant (Importation and Pest Control) Ordinance (Cap. 207)
8.Agricultural Products (Marketing) Ordinance (Cap. 277)
9.Marine Fish (Marketing) Ordinance (Cap. 291)Marine Fish (Marketing and Exportation) Regulations (Cap. 291 sub. leg.)Marine Fish (Marketing) By-laws (Cap. 291 sub. leg.)
10.Marine Fish Culture Ordinance (Cap. 353)
11.Rabies Ordinance (Cap. 421)
12.Whaling Industry (Regulation) Ordinance (Cap. 496)

Annex B

Adaptation of Laws (No. 28) Bill 1999
Summary of the proposed amendments



Regulation 2 of the Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Keeping of Cattle, Sheep and Goats) Regulations (Cap. 139 sub. leg.), Regulation 3 of the Public Health (Animals) (Boarding Establishment) Regulations (Cap. 139 sub. leg.) and Regulation 3 of the Public Health (Animals) (Riding Establishment) Regulations (Cap. 139 sub. leg.) provide that the relevant regulations shall not apply to any cattle, sheep or goats kept by the "Crown", or to the keeping of an animal-boarding establishment or riding establishment at a place occupied or managed by the "Crown". The references to the "Crown" are adapted to the "State" in accordance with section 7 of Schedule 9 to the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1).


(a) In section 6 of the Fisheries Protection Ordinance (Cap. 171), section 13 of the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance (Cap. 187), section 12 of the Agricultural Products (Marketing) Ordinance (Cap. 277) and section 8 of the Marine Fish (Marketing) Ordinance (Cap. 291), the references to "Crown" relate to forfeiture to the "Crown".

(b) In sections 9, 11, 13 and 16 of the Plant (Importation and Pest Control) Ordinance (Cap. 207), references to "Crown" relate to "a debt due to the Crown".

(c) In section 18 of the Plant (Importation and Pest Control) Ordinance (Cap. 207) provides that the "Crown" and other public officers shall not be liable for any damage caused to any plant in a quarantine area.


Section 8 of Plant (Importation and Pest Control) Ordinance (Cap. 207) states that -

"(1) No person shall import any soil save in accordance with the terms of an authorization in writing issued to him by the Director.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to soil imported from China". After reunification, "China" has to be adapted to "any place in China outside Hong Kong".


Section 9 of the Whaling Industry (Regulation) Ordinance (Cap. 496) states that -

"United Kingdom Department of Trade and Industry may grant to any person a permit authorizing that person to kill, take and treat whales for the purposes of scientific research or for other exceptional purposes". This power of granting a permit is now vested in the "relevant authority in the Central People's Government". According to the LegCo Brief, the Agriculture and Fisheries Department advises that Hong Kong has never been a whaling base and they are not aware of any permits having been issued by the UK Department in this regard. We have sought clarification with the Administration on which authority is now vested with this power. The Administration has replied that "the Bureau of Fisheries Management and Fishing Port Superintendence of the Ministry of Agriculture" is now responsible for whaling matters.