Hong Kong lags behind its Asian neighbors in many aspects, the absence of a pet-friendly policy being one of them.
For example, except for guide dogs, pets are not allowed to travel on the MTR.
Animal lovers set up a Facebook group called Pets MTR on Wednesday, the day the railway company held its annual general meeting.
They urged MTR Corp. (00066.HK) to rethink its pet policy and make public transport more pet-friendly.
The Facebook group attracted more than 13,000 members in just one day.
Group members have posted pictures of their pets on Facebook, sharing the inconveniences they faced when taking their dogs, cats and even lizards out if they aren’t able to drive themselves.
The MTR by-laws say: “No person shall, unless the Corporation in its sole discretion allows or permits, bring any animal or other livestock into or upon any part of the railway premises (provided that this restriction shall not apply to a guide dog accompanying a blind person).”
Other neitizens suggested MTR Corp. should take a leaf out of the book of Japan and Taiwan.
Both places allow pets in their railway system, requiring the animals to stay in bags or carts during the journey.
Setting up a designated compartment for passengers travelling with pets is another viable option, some suggested.
In fact, ferries (except the Star Ferry) are the only form of public transport in Hong Kong that allow pets on board.
The owner has to pay the fare for each animal, big dogs need to wear muzzles, and small cats and dogs are required to stay inside pet bags.
This may be used by the MTR as a reference.
One cat owner said he has to take his cats to the vet quite often, but with no other option, he can only go by taxi, which costs him several hundred dollars each time.
Also, the cat suffers from car sickness.
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