Another shop cat may be “detained” by the authorities after it was accused of hurting a woman, following a similar incident earlier in the week

Democratic Party lawmaker Roy Kwong said he learnt of the new case on Thursday, whereby a woman mistakenly stepped on the cat’s tail at a pharmacy in Sha Tin. The cat screeched and scratched the woman, although there was no bleeding from the wound.

A pharmacy staff member was willing to treat the customer’s wound but she refused and left. A few hours later, the woman returned with her family and reported the incident to the police. Kwong said the woman refused to go to hospital when an ambulance arrived.

Roy Kwong cat
The Sha Tin pharmacy cat. Photo: Roy Kwong.

It came after a similar incident this week in which the Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) tried to take away a shop cat accused of hurting a child. It later accepted that the cat could stay at a private clinic under observation after over 60,000 people signed a petition in one day.

Following the new incident, a representative of the AFCD arrived at the Sha Tin pharmacy on Friday afternoon, saying that the cat will not be taken away for now, and officials will be sent to the pharmacy in seven days to observe the feline’s situation.

However, the AFCD contacted the pharmacy later and said that it has to take the pet away within seven days in accordance with its rules.

“Why give the cat a hard time?” Kwong said. “Cats don’t usually actively assault people – from security footage, the cat used its paws out of instinct because of the pain of its tail being stepped on – it did not intentionally hurt people.”

“I cannot understand why the AFCD turned back on its promise that the cat can stay under observation at the pharmacy,” he said, adding that it was sick and under examination at a clinic.

Roy Kwong
Roy Kwong. Photo: Democratic Party.

Kwong said both incidents show that education concerning animals is not carried out well enough in Hong Kong, causing misunderstandings or even hatred of animals.

He said the Education Bureau and the government should increase public education regarding the correct way of handling animals.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.