Pets 2

Monty Python once boasted of a “Happy Holiday Home for Pets Pie Company”.
Hong Kong had a “Don’t Forget Pets Crematorium Centre”. Or it did until this week, when it was closed after repeated complaints from angry residents who claimed it belched foul smelling smoke into their flats. According to the South China Morning Post, six government departments had tried, and previously failed to close the centre. Apparently the Environmental Office merely suggested the company install a better filter and a longer flue. This didn’t impress one local who said she didn’t like the idea of inhaling “bits of dogs and cats”. A letter writer to the paper subsequently claimed the crematorium owner had been “hounded” by such residents who shouldn’t have been in the building anyway.
It was also reported that Hong Kong’s only government run pet cremation centre ceased operations in 1999, after the building in which it was unfortunately located, the Kennedy Town Abattoir, closed.
Many Australians of course believe the stereotype, that Hong Kong people like to eat small furry animals, particularly dogs. Indeed, the then Australian Foreign Minister, Gareth Evans once caused a scandal here when he joked that one of Governor Patten’s dogs, which had gone missing, may have been lunched upon by the locals. This was regarded as poor taste. The dog, called Whiskey or Soda, I can’t remember which, turned up unscathed and died some years later of old age, in England.
It seems that contrary to western suspicions, many Hong Kong people dote on their furry friends. Up on the Peak, where the really rich folks live, it’s often the custom to have one’s Husky (yes Husky) take the Filipino maid for a walk at least once a day. Down at the mid levels, where the Hong Kong lawyers and small time merchant bankers congregate, there has been a proliferation of pet grooming centres, where one’s Pekinese can be shampooed, primped and primed, JonBenet Ramsay style.
It’s certainly true that in the working class areas, such as the aforementioned Kennedy Town, there aren’t too many doggies to be seen on the streets. But this doesn’t mean they have end up in one of the many fine nearby barbecue restuarants. It may simply reflect that low income earners just don’t have the money or more importantly, the room to have a four legged lodger.



  1. I dno, I live in K-Town and see dogs on nearly every walk through the streets. Also the very low income earners have particularly prominent dogs that just kinda wander about near my apartment block without leashes.

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