Yau Ma Tei shop that sold cat meat to face prosecutions

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said on Tuesday that it will be initiating prosecution against a Yau Ma Tei shop after confirming cat's DNA in the meat samples seized there.

“The AFCD is now conducting multiple investigations in accordance with Cap 167A Dogs and Cats Ordinance and is searching for necessary evidence in order to initiate prosecutions against relevant parties,” a statement read.

This came following a joint operation by the AFCD and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) last Thursday as the shop allegedly offered meat of cats and dogs for sale.

The statement continued that the FEHD will also be charging the shop's operator with storing chill or frozen meat for sale without permission under article 30 of Cap 132X Food Business Regulation.

A spokesperson for the AFCD reminded the public that selling, consuming and possessing the meat of dogs and cats is an offense. The maximum penalty upon conviction carries a HK$5,000 fine and six-month imprisonment.

The case came into spotlight as local media reports revealed that the shop on Reclamation Street had been smuggling meat from Kaiping and the meat bought there were later confirmed to be that of dogs and cats through private laboratory testing.

Secretary for Environment and Ecology Tse Chin-wan earlier said the FEHD is mostly responsible for investigating the sale of meat but stressed that the AFCD will step up law enforcement to combat such illegal activities, including monitoring online meat sale and exchanging intelligence with other government departments.

Under Cap.167A Dogs and Cats Regulations, no person shall slaughter any dog or cat for use as food whether for mankind or otherwise, and no person shall sell or use or permit the sale or use of the flesh of dogs and cats for food.

Citizens are encouraged to file a report by calling at 1823 if they encounter suspicious breaches.