Animal Abuse

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Lu Szu Ying, Man Yee King, Ng Tung Yee ,
Yip Janice, Yu Hoi Wun

Office of SPCA

INCREASING awareness OF ANIMAL ABUSE

Recently, a video of abusing turtle is spreading through the Net. The increasing seriousness of animal abuse has aroused the attention and concern of the general public, including pet keepers and non-pet keepers. Animals (SPCA), a charity organization aiming at “promoting kindness and preventing or suppressing cruelty to animals”, was interviewed to share about this issue. Miss Rebecca Chan, the promoter of SPCA, talked about three aspects about animal abuse during the phone interview. The first question “What is the definition of animal abuse to SPCA” bought her a detailed response which mainly focused on “Hong Kong Basic Law”. She then explained that Hong Kong Basic Law is their standard to define what animal abuse is. “If the pet owners don’t provide enough water and food to pets, do you think it’s an animal abuse?” Rebecca asked. “In fact, this behavior couldn’t be counted into abusing animal unless the lack of food and water caused them to die that the owner couldn’t find any excuse to deny his/her cruelty.”

Rebecca said animal abusing is serious nowadays. Although the annual survey that SPCA did shows a fluctuating number of Prosecutions Initiated from 2007 to 2011 decreased, the situation is

Rebecca said animal abusing is serious nowadays. Although the annual survey that SPCA did shows a fluctuating number of Prosecutions Initiated from 2007 to 2011 decreased, the situation is indeed worsening. In 2008, there were 13 cases but dropped to 8 in 2009; and rose to 17 in 2011. She then explained the numbers have not included those cases in which the abusers were not arrested. Second, lots of cases have been ignored because there is no convincing evidence.

The situation of animal abuse in Hong Kong is getting more serious these days. “A lot of the cases of pet abuse emerge in Hong Kong these days,” said Helen Chu, a young office lady, one of the interviewees. She expressed that the problem of pet abandonment was particularly severe. “Strayed dogs and cats are always seen on local streets,” said Miss Chu. “The ways of animal abuse is even becoming extreme”.

The previous news about animals being mistreated has upset the society. According to the interviews, all respondents described their feelings towards this news as “angry”, “shocked”, “furious” and “disappointed”. This shows that the public indeed is not carrying no feelings about this existing problem. When asked about what their feelings would be if their pets were the victims in that news, all interviewees expressed their anger and irritation. “All criminals should be sent to jail!” said Sophia Tang, a 23 year-old non-pet owner. Non-pet owners have been already furious about mistreating pets, not to mention the feelings of pet keepers. This issue is unacceptable for both parties. These negative feelings indirectly reveal the public increasing awareness towards this issue.

Most of the interviewees are concerned about animal welfare. Many of the interviewees, including the ones without pets, are willing to help them. A form 5 student, Philip Lui said “I would try to speak up for the mistreated animals.” Many also shared the same opinion. One of the pet owners, Peter said he would report the case to the police or SPCA and take part in some “no animal abuse” campaigns. Some suggested doing voluntary work would be a good way to help the animals in need. It can be seen that everyone in the society does care about welfare of animals and shows no tolerance to those who abuse them.

Some interviewees are not that passionate to animal welfare. Yet, they also know that there are simple ways to help. They said they would bare their own responsibilities of taking good care of their pets or donate money. Actually, helping animals is simple and easy to achieve.

It is hoped that the situation could be...
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