Animal Laws in Hong Kong

Having laws that safeguard animal welfare is important as this means a society recognises an animal is a sentient being and accordingly, has rights that should be protected and defended. Under such legislation, offenders can be punished by fines, or community service orders (or combinations of these) for animal cruelty or neglect. The presence of laws serves to send a clear signal as to what is deemed acceptable and right in the eyes of society.

Animal Legislation in Hong Kong

All Hong Kong Legislation can be found on the Hong Kong Department of Justice website on the links below:

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance, Cap 169
Public Health (Animals and Birds) Ordinance, Cap 139
Dogs and Cats Ordinance, Cap 167
Pounds Ordinance, Cap 168
Wild Animals Protection Ordinance, Cap 170
Rabies Ordinance, Cap 421
Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, Cap 132
Marine Fish Culture Ordinance, Cap 353
Animals (Control of Experiments) Ordinance, Cap 340

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance, Cap 169

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance is the foremost article of law that safeguards the welfare of animals in Hong Kong. It governs the welfare of companion animals, food animals and laboratory animals.

Under this ordinance, cruelty can come in the form of the following:


Anybody who physically abuses animals (this includes any owner who allows his/ her animal to be so treated) e.g. cruelly beating, kicking, ill-treating, tortures, infuriating, terrifying, causing the unnecessary suffering of any animal.


Any person who has animals in captivity or transports animals and deprives animals under his/ her care of sufficient food and water or allows these animals under his/her charge to experience unnecessary suffering. This includes pet owners who neglect their animals, depriving them of adequate and sufficient food, water, shelter and necessary veterinary care.

Inappropriate transport

Where an animal is transported or unloaded (onto a train or another vehicle) which is too small or unsuitable that the animal transported suffers unnecessarily.


Plays ANY part in fighting and baiting of any animal (including allowing his/her premises being used for such an activity or receiving any money related to such an activity)

During import

Anybody who brings an animal into Hong Kong, transports, keeps in his/ her premises or under his/her control such that the animal goes through unnecessary suffering.


A maximum fine of HK$200,000 and a maximum imprisonment of 3 years.