"HKU legal scholar urges new Animal Welfare Law in Hong Kong"
HKU Press Invitation - 27 April 2018. Associate Law Professor Amanda Whitfort of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) will renew her call on the Hong Kong government to expeditiously introduce a duty of care to benefit all animals in the city at the III Global Animal Law Conference to be held on HKU campus on May 4 and 5, 2018.
Associate Professor Whitfort will present a paper The 2010 HKU/SPCA Review of Animal Welfare Legislation in HK: Where are we now and where do we need to be? in the first session of the conference at 10:20 am on May 4, Friday.
The replacement of Cap 169, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance with a new Animal Welfare Law, which imposes a positive duty of care for animals was the primary recommendation for law reform in the HKU-SPCA Review of Animal Welfare Legislation in Hong Kong published by Associate Professor Whitfort and Dr Fiona Woodhouse in 2010. On the back of the findings in that report the government has amended Cap 139B to introduce a duty of care for dogs in commercial breeding, which came into effect in March 2017.
While the introduction of a duty of care towards breeding dogs is an important first step, the amendments in Cap 139B only effect a limited number of animals. The amended law does not apply to other species or to animals kept as pets, or for other reasons. Only with the full implementation of the report’s primary recommendation to replace Cap 169 with a new Animal Welfare Law, will Hong Kong law be in a position to adequately address the instances of cruelty and poisonings seen in the territory in recent weeks.
Professor Mike Radford of the University of Aberdeen, who was instrumental in assisting the UK government in incorporating duty of care provisions in the United Kingdom’s Animal Welfare Act in 2006, will present his paper on 'A Duty to Care: the case for animal welfare legislation' on the second day of the conference on May 5, Saturday at 9:10am. Members of the media are invited to cover the Conference.