26th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) On the occasion of Buddha’s Birthday today, some citizens released animals at the piers in North Point and Tsuen Wan. Officers from the Fisheries and Conservation Department were present, distributing leaflets and advising people not to release animals. Animal welfare activists point out that in recent years, groups and organisations have arranged for boat trips or visits to country parks to release animals around Buddha’s Birthday and other festivals.
The Fisheries and Conservation Department stated that the government does not encourage the release of animals. They also reminded citizens to carefully consider animal welfare before participating in any release activities. Instead, they suggest alternative good deeds such as tree planting or voluntary service with animal welfare groups and environmental organizations.
According to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance (Cap 169), improper release of animals causing unnecessary suffering is illegal. Upon conviction, offenders may face a maximum fine of HK$200,000 and imprisonment for up to three years.