Public urged to exercise caution before releasing animals, says AFCD


14th May 2024 – (Hong Kong) The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) has issued a reminder to the public to carefully consider the consequences before participating in mercy releases of animals. The AFCD emphasizes that releasing animals in an improper manner, such as in unsuitable habitats, can have a negative impact on their survival. Furthermore, the release of exotic species or those incompatible with the local ecology can lead to resource competition and adversely affect the local environment. As a result, the government discourages the public from engaging in animal releases.

To monitor and address this issue, the AFCD conducts inspections at locations where animal releasing activities are likely to occur. They also carry out publicity and educational initiatives. It is important to note that under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance, releasing animals in an improper manner is considered an offense that can result in a maximum fine of $200,000 and a three-year imprisonment upon conviction.

The AFCD emphasizes the need for the public to think carefully about animal welfare before participating in release activities. To promote alternative ways of contributing to environmental conservation, the department is organizing a fish restocking exercise on National Fish Releasing Day on June 6. This initiative aims to enhance local marine resources and ecology. The AFCD encourages the public to support and engage in science-based restocking exercises rather than animal releases. Other charitable activities, such as tree planting and volunteering with animal welfare and environmental organizations, are also suggested alternatives.

[Professional News Title: AFCD Cautions Public to Think Twice Before Releasing Animals]