Mahatma Gandhi said it best for our furry friends with this quote: “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Gandhi could have been talking about his native India where cows are sacred, or China where some animals are petted and slaughtered for food, or Japan where pets outnumber children.
Or Hong Kong.
In every sense, our fair city is equal to Gandhi’s standard of greatness. Our citizens are undisputed champions of animal rights, our institutions caring and watchful.
You cannot have more than 100 years of the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and its post-colonial successor and not have a regime of animal rights protection that is second to none.
When we brought our dear Fudge to Manila last fall due to a job-related relocation, we did not mind the stringent certification process – vaccinations, electronic documentation, chip implants etc. – because we knew we were doing it for him.
Then we learned from Manila that some of the things we had done were not necessary. Being a class A jurisdiction, Hong Kong, as a point of origin for pets, got a pass by virtue of its world-class animal healthcare regime.
Now we know rabies is non-existent in Hong Kong.
That is the view from Manila and it would be safe to say that is how much of the world sees us.
That is why we are beyond distressed by the senseless death of a dog who was struck and killed by a passing train when the tragedy could have been avoided.
We are beyond outraged by the crude and heartless handling of its aftermath by MTR Corp., whose trains are seen in posters in our airport and in our streets as a symbol of our city and its people.
And we are beyond insulted by three – that’s three — statements from MTRC that did nothing other than defend itself without a word of regret or responsibility.
Let us not forget MTRC is not beyond reproach as a public trust. We don’t have to mention the scandals it tried to hide from us that have come at great cost to taxpayers.
Hong Kong citizens and people outside our city are rightly horrified and angered by the rail operator’s lack of remorse.
Is sorry such a wretched thing to say?
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