Don’t Mess with Cats

On the same day (23/5), two persons were convicted of crimes related to cruelty to cats. In both cases, veterinarian evidence was essential in assessing the defendant's culpability.

In WKCC 1530/2023, a woman was caught in Shek Kip Mei at home with a cat carcass with lost fur and a knife. Under caution, she admitted to intending to slaughter and consume the cat. She also claims that the cat was found dead after being hit by a car.

However, a veterinarian examination of the cat revealed only minor abrasions inconsistent with the woman’s account. But at the same time, no evidence suggests that she killed the cat.

The woman pleaded guilty to “slaughter of dog or cat for food” under regulation 22 of the Dogs and Cats Regulations (Cap 167A) and was sentenced to 4 weeks imprisonment, suspended for two years.

WKCC391/2023 is far more severe by comparison. During a domestic argument about whether to keep a pet cat, a man was bitten and scratched by the cat. In response, the man threw the cat hard to the floor, fatally injuring it. He called the police afterwards, hoping to save the cat, but it was beyond saving.

The veterinarian examination revealed extensive injuries. The cat suffered multiple fractures, a bruised chin, and worse, a cracked skull exposing its brain. This reflects in the force the cat was being subjected to.

The man pleaded guilty to “cruelty to animals” under section 3(1) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance (Cap 169). A starting point of 4.5 months of immediate imprisonment was adopted, which was reduced to 2.5 months after mitigation.

These two cases reflect the toughening stance of the legal framework on animal cruelty. It is no trivial matter, and offenders could face a lengthy term of imprisonment. Veterinarian evidence will also be examined, forming an essential part of the case.

Don’t Mess with Cats
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