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AFCD crackdown on illegal trading of animals on internet
Friday, April 15, 2011

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) today (April 15) cracked down on an internet-based illegal animal trading activity in Kwun Tong. Forty-three puppies were found at the scene. They were in poor health condition and have been sent to Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for treatment.

A man and a woman were detained for enquiries in the operation. The investigation is on-going.

A department spokesman said an AFCD officer, posing as a potential customer, contacted a trader who had put puppies for sale on the internet in early April.

When the transaction was eventually fixed today, the department staff found that the sale was inside an industrial building in Wai Yip Street, Kwun Tong, which was allegedly run without an animal trader licence.

Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance (Cap 169), the maximum penalty for cruelty to animals is a fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for three years.

Under the Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Animal Traders) Regulations (Cap 139B), all animal traders, including animal breeding facilities and pet shops, must hold an animal trader licence issued by AFCD and strictly observe relevant licensing conditions and the Codes of Practice. Any person who has been found guilty of illegal trading of animals is liable to a maximum fine of $2,000.

"In their own interest, people should buy pets only from licensed traders," the spokesman said.

"We will continue to take stringent enforcement action against illegal animal trading activities to safeguard public health and animal welfare.

"People should report such illegal activities through the 1823 Call Centre," he added.