Two mainland-born people were handed a fine of HK$1,000 each by Hong Kong court Tuesday for attempting to cook a dead cat, which they claimed was aimed at feeding their pet dogs.
Shu Xingqiao, 37, and her uncle — a 53-year-old named Tang Xunguang — were found guilty of violating the Dogs and Cats Ordinance after an incident at a village house in Yuen Long district.
A Tuen Mun court heard earlier that the pair was spotted by police officers as they were removing hair from a dead cat and apparently preparing to cook the carcass outside their home in Pat Heung.
In the incident that took place on January 31 this year, the officers noticed a pot of boiling water next to dead animal, which had been skinned and torched with an LPG gun.
Following the discovery, a case was lodged against the duo.
During the court hearing, Shu — who was born and raised in a Sichuan village and only attended school till primary three level — pleaded for leniency, saying that she merely wanted to avoid wasting the animal.
Instead of dumping it, why not cook the dead cat and use the meat to feed her dogs? That was her reasoning behind the attempted activity, she said.
As for Tang, he was trying to help out his niece in the task.
The two defendants said they were not aware of Hong Kong laws that deem the use of cat meat as illegal.
Delivering a verdict, magistrate Kelly Shui said the case illustrates the cultural differences between people in mainland China and Hong Kong, Headline Daily reports.
Shu and Tang must obey the laws in Hong Kong if they are to live in the city, Shui said, pointing the need to respect animal rights.
The judge said she will not make any assumptions of possible acts of cruelty, as there was no evidence suggesting that the hair of the cat had been removed while it was still alive.
Tang, who was defending himself without an attorney, told the judge that he has no criminal record and that he only made the mistake as he was not aware of the relevant laws.
His niece Shu, who is married to a Hong Kong resident and has a locally-born daughter, told the court that she was merely stupid in attempting to put the cat corpse to use.
Hearing their statements, Shui let them off with thousand-dollar fines, along with a warning on respecting animal rights.
Man pleads guilty to trying to feed cat meat to dogs (Sept. 21, 2016)
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