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


After the Sub-committee meeting on 23 July 1999, the Administration received a further submission of 2 August on the proposed Dangerous Dogs Regulation from the Hong Kong and Kowloon Kennel Association Ltd. The Administration's response is set out in the following paragraphs.

Issues raised in the submission

To provide a list of organisations which have been consulted on the proposed Dangerous Dogs Regulation.

2. A list of interested organisations which have been consulted by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) on the draft Dangerous Dogs Regulation was provided in our submission dated 20 July 1999 to Members of the Subcommittee. A copy is at the Appendix.

To explain the rationale of including Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasiliero in the scope of control of the Regulation given that these dogs have never been licensed in Hong Kong.

3. The four fighting breeds listed in Schedule 1 to the proposed Regulation, namely Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Fila Braziliero and Japanese Tosa, are recognised internationally as having been bred for fighting. They have the common characteristic of attacking without being provoked. Once they attack, they will not respond to signs of submission and may continue attacking until the victim is dead. All these fighting dogs are exceptionally strong and have a predisposition for abnormal aggressiveness. Other countries, including UK, Australia, Holland and Singapore, have legislation to control one or more of these breeds.

In the past, there were incidents where people were killed by bites inflicted by Great Dane and Boxer. Why are these dogs not included as dangerous dogs?

4. The Great Dane and Boxer were not classified as fighting dogs after consideration of the history of breeding, breed characteristics and relevant overseas legislation on the control of dogs. Individual dogs of these breed may be classified as "known dangerous dogs" by a magistrate if they have killed or inflicted serious injuries on persons or domestic animals without provocation. These dogs are over 20 kg in weight when fully grown and would fall under the "large dogs" category.

It is impractical to use training as the basis of exemption. It is normal for dogs to bite or bark when provoked, in self defence or in defence of family.

5. According to AFD, properly trained dogs do not normally bite in self defence when in public places. AFD recognises the merits of training and is prepared to grant exemptions under section 17 of the Dogs and Cats Ordinance to trained dogs if they can demonstrate, through examination, that they will remain under control off leash in a range of standard day-to-day live situations. If evidence suggests that an exempted dog represents a threat to public safety, the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries may revoke the exemption and inform the owner accordingly.

The most effective solution that hit the root of the problem is to educate dog keepers and the public on the proper way to keep dogs. The Government should co-operate with groups concerned e.g. kennel associations in formulating an education programme on the keeping of dogs.

6. The AFD has invited veterinary surgeons, members of kennel clubs, and various groups concerned with animal welfare to devise educational plans and materials for promotion of responsible dog ownership. In 1999, AFD has printed and distributed a comprehensive information booklet on owning a dog in Hong Kong and this will be backed up by a promotional campaign on microchips and dog licensing later this year. Other publications and programmes are under development.

Economic Services Bureau/
Agriculture and Fisheries Department
August 1999