Jail Time for Selling Cat Meat

The brazen selling of cat and dog meat by a shop in the middle of Kowloon comes to an end with the storekeeper jailed.

Mr Gordon Chan gave an interview for RTHK on the news report of the selling of cat and dog meats by a shop in Yau Ma Tei, discussing the legal consequence of such an act and past sentences.

As a follow-up to the report, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department conducted a joint operation on the store. Cat DNA was found in more than a kilogram of meat seized from the store.

Since the cat meat was found in a licenced meat shop. The storekeeper was summonsed with two offences (KTS 5703 & 5714/2023). He pleaded guilty to both offences:

In sentencing the storekeeper, the Magistrate was concerned with the severe nature of the case, which involves the smuggling and commercial selling of multiple cats as food, and that such a case calls for public deterrence and immediate imprisonment. The court adopted a starting point of 18 weeks imprisonment for each offence. The term of imprisonment was reduced for a timely guilty plea and positive background. The storekeeper is now facing a total of 10 weeks’ immediate imprisonment.

For cases concerning the consumption of cats and dogs, the High Court in 香港特別行政區 訴 劉立基及另三人 [2007] 3 HKLRD 273 had set out a list of factors that could result in immediate imprisonment:

  1. Case involved the slaughter of more than one cat or dog;
  2. Cruelty and torture in the slaughtering, causing unnecessary suffering to cats or dogs;
  3. Case involved a commercial nature;
  4. Obtaining pet cats or dogs of others by unlawful means to slaughter for food;
  5. Multiple people are involved in the slaughter of cats or dogs;
  6. Place of slaughter or disposal of carcasses would obviously contaminate the environment or affect public health; and
  7. Prior records of the defendant.

This case highlighted the tough stance of Hong Kong against the uncivilised act of eating cats and dogs.

Jail Time for Selling Cat Meat
Gordon Chan avatar
Gordon Chan, Esq

Barrister of the High Court of Hong Kong. Member of the Bar Association's Committee on Criminal Law and Procedure. Specialised in medical, technology and criminal law.

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