The government will study the feasibility of introducing guide dogs for the blind, according to the government’s 10-stsar Plan on Rehabilitation Services released on Wednesday.
The Rehabilitation Affairs Committee held a regular meeting on Wednesday, in which the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) briefed committee members about the plan.
The meeting, chaired by IAS President Celeste Vong Yim Mui, took place at the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) in Nam Van.
The government launched a public consultation in April about the draft version of the plan.
The final version of the plan published on Wednesday states the development objectives for various aspects of rehabilitation services as well as relevant measures and polices to achieve the aims. The objectives and measures are divided into short-term, medium-term and long-term.
Addressing the meeting, the bureau’s Social Solidarity Department Chief Choi Sio Un said that introducing guide dogs to the city needed amendments to the current regulations.
Choi said that, for instance, amendments were needed for regulations about which kinds of venues dogs are banned from entering.
Choi said that there was a world-wide shortage of guide dogs, pointing out that they can’t meet the demand. According to Choi, there are currently only 90, 50 and 30 guide dogs approximately in the mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong respectively.
According to the plan, the government will study the introduction of guide dogs as its “medium-term” aim and measure.
The most popular kinds of guide dogs being used worldwide are Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds, according to Choi.