Government representatives have agreed to suggestions proposed by lawmakers to differentiate between farm animals and pets during a meeting of the Legislative Assembly (AL) First Standing Committee Wednesday.
Kwan Tsui Hang, president of the committee, said that the change affords greater flexibility to businesses such as pet shops when providing accommodation for the animals they are selling.
Ms Kwan said that the lawmakers and government representatives focused their discussion Wednesday on Article 11 of the draft legislation, which contains a clause demanding that animal owners provide a “suitable living environment” for their pets. The lawmakers believe that a clear definition of “suitable environment” is needed.
Kwan explained that the government still does not provide a detailed standard and only mentions some factors that can affect the living environment of an animal. “Without a clear standard, residents and industries would not know if they have met the requirement,” she said.
Moreover, the president said that it is necessary to differentiate between farm animals and pets, and thus stipulate different requirements regarding their ownership. She explained that apart from the usual farm animals such as chickens – animals that are sold at pet shops should also be considered farm animals. “The fact is, before they are sold by a pet shop and have an owner, they are seen as farm animals. It is because they are for sale; there has to be a differentiation,” she said.
The president continued to point out that there is no regulation on pet shops in Macau. If animals in pet shops are considered pets, the pet shops then have to comply with the requirements related to keeping pets. She said that, without precise categorization, the law may be in conflict with the current practices of pet stores in Macau. She said that the government agreed with the lawmakers and will be adding the new category into the draft bill. (macaunews/macaudailytimes)