The City University of Hong Kong has asked its departments to consider scrapping roast pig cutting ceremonies at celebratory events, following a controversy at the opening of the university’s new veterinary medical centre.
The opening was held on March 27 and the university posted about it on Facebook two days later. In the photo, CityU President Way Kuo and CityU Veterinary Health Group Board Chair Lau Ming-wai were seen cutting a roast pig. A second roast pig can also be seen in the photo.
The Facebook post was widely shared this week as commentators satirised the photo: “What will be taught at the veterinary medical centre? Practical lesson: You don’t have to waste time saving the animal when you can kill it and eat it,” one said. “Ethics lesson: Some animals are not animals but food.”
“Poor pig gave its life to the mission of animal health,” another said.
Following the outcry, CityU removed the photo.
On Thursday, the university also issued a statement saying that the roast pig cutting ceremony was held because the ceremony was regarded as a traditional ritual in Hong Kong when a new building has been completed.
“The arrangements were made by the organising committee as a gesture of blessing,” it said. “Some members of the senior management team had expressed concerns before the roast pig cutting took place.”
“When considering environmental protection, in addition to removing shark fin from our banquets, the senior management team will now request all CityU departments to consider cancelling roast pig cutting and other similar rites at celebration activities in the future.”
The centre was formerly CityU Peace Avenue Veterinary Clinic and is located in Mong Kok.
The three-storey centre is equipped with an intensive care unit for animals, a cardiology suite, 22 consultation rooms, nine dedicated operating theatres, and 24/7 emergency services manned by registered emergency veterinarians.
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