A group of animal lovers have urged the police to stop deploying dogs during operations against protesters, warning the dogs could be suffering from the effects of tear gas.
Concerns were raised that a police dog taken onto the streets of Yuen Long on Monday – amid clashes between riot officers and protesters – appeared to be looking ill.
The activists, and pro-democracy lawmakers Claudia Mo, Jeremy Tam and Roy Kwong, said tear gas could irritate a dog's respiratory system and skin, and could even kill them.
They said the police may be guilty of animal cruelty, because unlike officers and many of the protesters, the dogs don't wear any protective gear.
Mark Mak, the convenor of Eighteen Districts Animal Protection Commissioners, was one of those complaining to the force on Wednesday.
He said he was not optimistic that the police would agree to stop using dogs at protests, and he may apply for an injunction order.
"From their point of view, the dogs are their tools. The dogs are supposed to do their duties, disregarding their health and well-being," Mak said.
"This is obviously against the animals' welfare when you put the dogs' [health] under threat."
Police urged not to use dogs after firing tear gas
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