Several dozen dogs and cats were amongst the roughly 1,000 pet lovers who joined a protest march Sunday to demand that a long-delayed animal welfare and protection law finally be enacted.
The march, organised by the Abandoned Animals Protection Association of Macau (AAPAM), started from Praca do Tap Seac and ended at Government House, where the group’s founders Yoko Choi Wing Chi and Josephine Lau Pui Chan handed in a petition to a representative of the Office of Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On.
It was the fifth time that the association has organised the protest. Lau told reporters that since the first protest five years ago, the government had not made any progress on the animal protection front, vowing that they would continue to march until there’s finally a law protecting the city’s animals.
“The chief executive met us after last year’s protest, which was encouraging for us even though no dates [of legislation] were mentioned,” Lau told The Macau Post Daily, adding: “We’ll march again this December and if there’s still no feedback, we’ll march every three months next year.”
According to Lau, the need for an animal protection law is becoming more urgent as the number of abandoned animals is growing and the situation of animal cruelty is worsening.
“Before, the abandoned dogs were usually mongrels from construction sites, but now if you go to the government’s kennels, you can find huskies, poodles and corgis, it’s like you’re in a pet shop,” Lau said, adding that due to the lack of an animal protection law, people could just buy animals and easily leave them at the kennels by just filling in a form, or simply abandon them on the streets.
A woman surnamed Ho joined the protest with seven of the 20 dogs that she rescued from the streets.
“I’ve never joined this kind of thing before but I really can’t stand seeing people abusing animals anymore,” Ho said, adding: “I saw people strangling a cat and once found just the legs and not the body, I really don’t understand how people can do this.”
According to Lau, her association took in about 400 abandoned animals last year. She said that about 700 dogs at the government’s kennels were put down last year because they were not adopted within a given time.
Lau said that besides demanding animal protection to put an end to animal cruelty and abandonment by making them a criminal offence in serious cases, the association was also urging the government to regulate veterinary surgeries and pet shops as well as pet owners’ responsibilities and penalties for negligence.(macaunews)