Hong Kong: Man arrested over animal cruelty for pouring salt on snails, causing them to die

A man was arrested for sprinkling large amounts of salt on the snails at a fountain in Hong Kong after the rain, causing them to suffer from dehydration and die.

During the period, some passers-by had asked the man to stop his action, but the man involved turned a deaf ear, made a special pose for people to take pictures and said they pose a danger to the ecology.

After receiving the report, the police launched an operation. Based on intelligence and after an in-depth investigation, the identity of a man involved in the case was confirmed and he was arrested for alleged “cruelty to animals”.

Sprinkling salt on snails and slugs can kill them as the mineral saps them of moisture via osmosis. It is a known gardening trick for controlling populations of the mollusk, but is seen as inhumane due to the drawn out pain it causes to the creatures.

The police arrested, 26-year-old man, a computer science doctoral student at Polytechnic University. Officers seized the clothes he was wearing during the incident. As per police investigation, he is accused of pouring salt on three snails.

The man faces a fine of up to HK$200,000 and three years in prison if found guilty of animal cruelty.