Subcommittee on Resolution under section 3 of the Dogs and Cats Ordinance (Cap. 167) and Dogs and Cats (Amendment) Ordinance 1997 (97 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1999

Concerns raised by members at the meeting on 23 July 1999 which require follow-up actions by the Administration

Background and statistics

    -To provide background information on why the United Kingdom (UK) introduced amendments to the legislation on the control of dogs in March 1997, and whether the UK experience can be referred to in formulating dog control measures in Hong Kong; and

    -To provide statistics on dog bites in Hong Kong including bites by dogs in the home, stray dogs and large dogs exceeding 20 kg in indoor and outdoor public places respectively.
Issues relating to fighting dogs
    -To provide the basis for classifying the four types of dogs as fighting dogs in the proposed Dangerous Dogs Regulation (the Regulation), whether more types of dogs will be categorized as fighting dogs in the future, and whether there are sufficient number of experts in Hong Kong who are capable of distinguishing dog breeds;

    -To clarify whether in the case of a fighting dog making a transit and changing flights in Hong Kong, the owner and the operator of the conveyance will commit an offence under section 3 of the Regulation; and

    -To explain how the estimate number of 200 fighting dogs to be surrendered for destruction after the commencement of the Regulation was derived.
Issue relating to known dangerous dogs
    -To provide the rationale for including a dog which has killed or inflicted serious injury on a domestic animal without provocation, in the "known dangerous dogs" category. The Administration is requested to take into account dogs' instinct in fighting with other animals such as cats, and it might not be appropriate if only serious injury on an animal will lead to a dog falling into the category of "known dangerous dogs".
Issues relating to large dogs
    -To respond to comments made by the deputations that weight and size of dogs do not necessarily correlate, i.e. a dog exceeding 20 kg might not be a large size of dog, and the muzzle requirement will increase aggression in dogs.

Enforcement of the Regulation

    -To clarify whether dogs participating in dog shows held in indoor public places are subject to muzzle requirement;

    -To advise whether suitable muzzles are available for all types of dogs including pit bull;

    -To advise whether the exemption examination will be held frequent enough to cater for the demands of dog owners, and whether one single examination required for each dog will be adequate for the determination on whether a dog will not endanger public safety; and

    -To advise whether the Administration would anticipate any difficulties in the enforcement of the Regulation in rural areas, if so, whether any measures would be in place to tackle the problem.
Measures to tackle the crux of the dog control problem
    -To introduce effective measures to control stray dogs such as catching abandoned dogs upon the completion of construction projects;

    -To impose higher penalties on those who fail to control their dogs;

    -To control smuggling of dogs from the Mainland; and

    -To escalate educational programmes and publicity to promote responsible ownership of dogs and integration of dogs into the community.
Legislative Council Secretariat
3 August 1999