Animal Laws in Hong Kong

Animal Laws in Hong Kong

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

Animal Legislation in Hong Kong

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance, Cap 169

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance is the key piece of legislation 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 is defined as the following:


Anybody who physically abuses animals (this includes any owner who allows their 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 them of sufficient food and water, or allows them 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) into something unsuitable and suffers unnecessarily.


Plays ANY part in fighting and baiting of any animal (including allowing their premises to be 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 their premises or under their control and causes the animal to experience unnecessary suffering.


If found guilty of cruelty, the maximum fine is HK$200,000 and carries a maximum imprisonment of three years.