Animals have rights too!
Updated: Apr 8, 2020
The Hong Kong (HK) Government has proven it is unable to provide even basic rights to humans, let alone for other animal species!
HK has one of the worse records globally for human trafficking!
[Update] 8 April 2020. RTHK A study by the conservation organisation WWF suggests there is overwhelming public support for the idea of closing wildlife markets in order to help prevent pandemics like Covid-19 from erupting again in the future. WWF said it surveyed nearly 5,000 people in Hong Kong, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Of the nearly 1,000 respondents from the SAR, 94 percent said they would support government efforts to close such markets. He [David Olson] told RTHK's Richard Pyne that Hong Kong should look carefully at the exotic pet trade, go after illegal online sales and the black market, and reduce any risks of disease transmission from wildlife being transported via the SAR.
Despite Hong Kong's obligations to basic human rights under the United Nations "International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights" (ICCPR) HK still has NOT legislated ICCPR Articles 1 and 20.
"The relationship of homo sapiens to the other animals is one of unremitting exploitation. We employ their work; we eat and wear them. We exploit them to serve our superstitions: whereas we used to sacrifice them to our gods and tear out their entrails in order to foresee the future, we now sacrifice them to science, and experiment on their entrails in the hope - or on the mere off chance - that we might thereby see a little more clearly into the present ... To us it seems incredible that the Greek philosophers should have scanned so deeply into right and wrong and yet never noticed the immorality of slavery. Perhaps 3000 years from now it will seem equally incredible that we do not notice the immorality of our own oppression of animals."
Hindu and Buddhist societies abandoned animal sacrifice and embraced vegetarianism from the 3rd century BC. Hong Kong has a sizable Buddhist community.
Animals in HK are being exploited and abused. Here are just a few of the failures of Hong Kong to protect the legitimate rights of animals:
Wild birds killed by tear gas
Protesters have noted a number of wild birds have died from tear gas. Other animals including rats and cats have been affected and photographed.
Police service dogs working unmasked
RTHK reported on 23 October 2019 in Hong Kong protests Police service dogs were working unmasked when CS tear gas was being fired by the Police. CS gas is banned from being used in war. Policemen had masks - yet Police service dogs were unmasked!
The HK Police denied that this is animal cruelty yet concerned members of the Public disagree. Once again the Police is unable to appropriately respond to the Public.
A HK group demanded the HK Police not to use unmasked Police dogs.
Ocean Park is the second largest amusement park in Hong Kong, after Disneyland. As well as being an amusement park, Ocean Park Hong Kong aims to merge entertainment and education, including conservation advocacy.
Opened in 1977, Ocean Park became popular, but 22 years later, it was unprofitable and widely expected to close due to the new Hong Kong Disneyland. However, the Park responded with a HK$5.5 billion development plan that saw it expand to over 80 attractions and rides, and steadily grow visitor numbers to 7.6 million in 2014, making it the world's 13th most visited theme park, and one of the largest theme parks in Asia. Half of all visitors now come from mainland China, in growth that parallels rising mainland tourist visitor levels to Hong Kong over the same period.
Between 1979 and 1997, Ocean Park was most famous for its signature killer whale, Miss Hoi Wai. However Ocean Park has been criticised by wildlife advocates for practices including the wild capture of large sea animals, such as dolphins and orca, and the presentation of shows featuring such animals performing - or suffering, depending on your view!
On 11 November 2019 RTHK reported "Russia releases last belugas from 'whale jail'." "Moscow eventually bowed to pressure to release the 93 beluga whales and 11 orcas, which were held for more than a year in the secretive facility in Srednyaya Bay near the far eastern town of Nakhodka. Russia is the only country that captures wild orcas and belugas to sell to aquariums, a controversial practice made possible by legal loopholes. Many of the whales held at the facility in Srednyaya Bay were to be sent to aquariums in China. A Change.org petition for the whales to be released collected more than 1.5 million signatures, including that of Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio."
Increasingly and globally human populations, especially in developed countries, are becoming aware that animals being used for human "entertainment" facilities like circuses and water parks, are being exploited and abused. There has therefore been a decline in attendance.
[UPDATE: December 2019 Ocean Park reported a deficit of HK$557 million for its last financial year ending on June 30, more than double its losses for the previous 12 months. This is the fourth year in a row of losses].
[UPDATE: 14 January 2020 HK Government requesting from the Legislative Council HK$10.6 billion funding for redevelopment of Ocean Park. This request is in spite of a decline in November 2019 tourist numbers to HK of 56% and no further dialog nor concessions by the HK Government to the protesters who represent the majority of HK people! Tourists from wealthy Western democracies have little demand for entertainment which abuses animals. Inspite of the demands of local animal rights activists there are no plans to fundamentally change Ocean Parks current policy of abuse of animals].
HK Public resources, including land and funding, should not be made available to Ocean Park. This is a white elephant project.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) was founded in 1884. It is the richest horse racing Club in the world.
Today HKJC is a non-profit organisation providing horse racing, sporting and betting entertainment in Hong Kong. It holds a government-granted monopoly in providing pari-mutuel betting on horse racing, the Mark Six lottery, and fixed odds betting on overseas football events. The organisation is the largest taxpayer in Hong Kong, as well as the largest community benefactor.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust donated a record HK$3.6 billion (US$464 million) in 2014 to support the different needs of the society and contribute to the betterment of Hong Kong. The Club also proactively identifies, funds and develops projects which anticipate and address social issues and pressing needs in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Jockey Club also provides dining, social, sport and recreation facilities to its approximately 23,000 members.
HK's Vision is to be "Asia's World City" - an international financial center on par with New York or London. It is therefore shocking and disgraceful that HK's largest taxpayer and community benefactor is a Club that profits from the exploitation of the blood, sweat and tears of horses!
HKJC does not invest heavily in programs aimed at reducing addictions, including to gambling. What it does is underwrite social programs to address problems related to gambling.
HKJC website gives no mention of the action it is taking on the legislation, policies or practices supporting issues of animal rights, including horses, in Hong Kong. There does not appear to be anything to ensure the well being of horses, reduction of injuries, or equine retirement plans.
This is an astonishing insight into the true workings of Hong Kong as an exploiter and abuser. This abusive behaviour by HK is unsustainable - as we can see from Ocean Park!
In developed economies due to changes in animal rights animal circuses and seaworlds which exploit animals are no longer accepted and are not financially viable.