Date
18 December 2017
Douglas Ku (inset) says he has received numerous requests from dog owners to cut their pets' vocal cords but has refused every single one of them. Photos: HKEJ, Facebook
Douglas Ku (inset) says he has received numerous requests from dog owners to cut their pets' vocal cords but has refused every single one of them. Photos: HKEJ, Facebook

HK vet praised for refusing to cut dogs’ vocal cords

A Hong Kong veterinarian is being hailed as a hero after he refused to cut the vocal cords of dogs as requested by their owners.

Douglas Ku said in a recent Facebook post he often receives such requests but has refused every one of them.

Finally, he left a note to dog owners that he will only agree to the idea “if I cut your vocal cords first”.

The letter went viral on the internet, inspiring more than 3,000 Facebook likes.

Ku told Animal Post that he has defied dog owners who want to “silence” their pets by having their vocal cords removed.

He said he learned about animal rights early on in his veterinary studies in Australia. 

Inhumane acts such as cutting ears and tails, gouging out teeth and removing vocal cords have no place in his practice, Ku said in the post. 

Mark Mak, executive chairman of the non-profit Veterinary Services Society, said dog owners want to muzzle their dogs to stop them from creating noise in order to skirt restrictions on pet ownership in some residential buildings, Sky Post reported Wednesday.

Often, they would tell the vet they’re doing it for health reasons.

Mak said removing vocal cords is animal abuse and has nothing to do with health.

Hong Kong’s veterinary code of practice prohibits procedures that inflict pain or discomfort on animals.

These include tail docking, tooth trimming or grinding, ear trimming and de-barking or de-clawing, except for valid medical reasons.

Neutering and other generally accepted surgeries and treatments are allowed.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, the top regulator for pet-related issues, received 160 complaints about animal abuse last year.

It said animal abuse carries stiff penalties under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance.

Offenders face up to three years in jail and a HK$200,000 (US$25,800) fine.

[Go to Animal Post]

[Go to Douglas Ku's Facebook page]

– Contact us at [email protected]

TL/JP/RA

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