Animal Watch Scheme gathers momentum
Support Wing launched an Animal Watch Scheme in October last year in an effort to strengthen multi-agency co-operation and encourage greater public involvement in combatting cruelty to animals through a four-pronged approach comprising education, intelligence gathering, publicity and investigation.
In mid-March this year, four detective inspectorate officers attended an Animal Forensic Pathology course conducted by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD).
The two-and-a-half-day course was the first of its kind run in Hong Kong. At the invitation of AFCD, an expert in animal forensic pathology from the UK chaired the course for more than 20 veterinarians from AFCD and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), and the four police officers. The course adopted a veterinary approach from the perspective of animal pathology to analyse the causes of injuries to animals, including accident, illness and cruelty.
In line with objectives of the scheme and to boost frontline officers' professional ability of handling cruelty to animal cases, Support Wing held the first seminar on Cruelty to Animals Investigation and Animal Watch Scheme on October 24 last year.
Following the success of the first seminar, the second one was held in the Auditorium at Police Headquarters on March 27 when speakers from AFCD, SPCA and police frontline investigating units shared their experiences of investigating cruelty to animal cases. The four police inspectors who had attended the Animal Forensic Pathology course also shared what they had learned from the course. The sharing enriched frontline officers' knowledge of identifying cruelty cases and enhanced their confidence in handling the cases.
Besides the 100 frontline police inspectors, Field Officers from AFCD and inspectors from SPCA also attended the seminar and shared their frontline operational experience, further enhancing the multi-agency approach for handling cruelty to animal cases.
The Animal Watch Scheme is currently under review following a six-month implementation. Support Wing welcomes officers to express their views of the scheme through formation commanders. Alternatively, they may forward the views to Superintendent (Field Support) Kong Man-keung at 2860-2541 (PEN: sp-field-support) or Senior Inspector Wilson Ng Hoi-wai at 2860-2548 (PEN: ip-sip-field-3-support).
Senior Inspector Ng Hoi-wai (standing) and Detective Senior Inspector Danny Fung (right), along with representatives from SPCA and AFCD, share their operational experience
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