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AFCD urges public not to come into contact with monkeys
Thursday, April 4, 2024

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) reminds the public the do's and don'ts when encountering monkeys, subsequent to a case in which a person was attacked by a monkey and contracted a disease after coming into contact with a monkey in the countryside.

An AFCD spokesman said, "When encountering monkeys, members of the public should avoid eating in front of monkeys, and avoid direct eye contact with monkeys to prevent it from being perceived as a provocative behaviour. When monkeys approach, one should slow down and keep an appropriate distance from them, and refrain from getting close to or touching them. If any person has come into contact with a monkey or its excrement, he or she should immediately wash hands thoroughly with soap and water to maintain personal hygiene. In the event of being bitten or scratched by a monkey, immediate medical assistance should be sought."

The spokesman also pointed out that the wild animal feeding ban area has been extended to cover the entire territory of Hong Kong. Anyone who feeds wild animals anywhere in Hong Kong without a special permit will be prosecuted. Under the existing Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap.170), illegal feeding of wild animals, including monkeys, is subject to a maximum fine of $10,000 upon conviction.

The spokesman strongly appealed to the public not to feed monkeys. Apart from violating the law, illegal feeding will also change the living habits of wild animals, making them dependent on human beings for food and causing nuisance or even risks to the public.

The AFCD will continue to neuter monkeys to control their population in the long run, and continue to step up education and publicity such that more people will understand the living habits of monkeys and promote the message of "stop feeding of wild animals".

If a person is disturbed by monkeys, he or she can call 1823 to report the incident to the AFCD for follow-up. Please call 999 for Police's assistance in emergency situations. The AFCD has also put up posts on its social media platform, mounted posters and banners at prominent locations in country parks and distributed leaflets about monkeys, to convey the above messages to the public.