Animal rights activists have called on the government to ban the fur trade in Hong Kong. Around 90 protesters were joined by three lawmakers for an annual rally against the industry in Wan Chai on Sunday afternoon. They chanted slogans and carried banners displaying messages such as “Fur is crime” and “Ban the Hong Kong fur trade”.
The marchers stopped outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, where the annual four-day international fur fair was held until Monday.
Some protesters carried pictures of skinned animals and wore masks of the blood-stained faces of Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and commerce chief Edward Yau Tang-wah.
“The reason we made masks of Lam and Yau is we want to let the government know it is an accomplice of the fur trade if it doesn’t ban the business,” campaign leader Wendy Chan said. She said their repeated requests to meet Yau over the issue were rejected by the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau.
The protesters ended their march at government headquarters in Admiralty, and for the first time, handed in a petition to a government representative.
The Hong Kong Fur Federation, which represents more than 150 firms from all sectors of the industry, said its members agreed to protect the well-being of animals including to stand against cruelty and to cooperate with suppliers that followed local animal welfare regulations.
The anti-fur protest is in its sixth year.
“Since last year, we have asked the government, rather than the industry, to stop the fur trade through legislation,” Chan said.
Pro-democracy lawmakers Au Nok-hin, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick and Claudia Mo Man-ching joined the protest.
“The fur trade is persecution against animals. Is fur really necessary? I don’t think so,” Au said.
“Hong Kong is an international city. We should not let the trade prevail in Hong Kong.”
Chu added that although Hong Kong was not a manufacturing base for fur, it was a free port with lots of products passing through. “We should not let the name freedom be abused,” he said.