Guest speakers and audience members at the weekly Macau Forum, hosted by government broadcaster TDM in Areia Preta Park Sunday, voiced their displeasure and frustration at lawmakers’ apparent reluctance to pass an animal rights law, contending no time should be wasted over the issue while calling for the government to protect animals.
The forum was attended by a group of vociferous animal rightists who held up signs demanding that an animal welfare law be enacted as soon as possible.
Directly-elected lawmaker José Pereira Coutinho, who last week put forward a bill on animal rights for the second time last that was voted down by his peers in the legislature, lambasted his colleagues who vetoed the bill, saying they should have voted in favour since many of them had said earlier that they support animal rights.
He further argued that if some lawmakers disagreed with some articles and the wording in his bill, they should first have passed its outline in the first reading and then have discussed its disputed details afterwards on committe level to make changes instead of rejecting it outright.
Coutinho first proposed a similar bill in the legislature in April last year but then also failed to garner enough votes, The Macau Post Daily pointed out.
Abandoned Animals Protection Association of Macau (AAPAM) Chairperson Yoko Choi Wing Chi contended that the government should stop sitting on its hands when it comes to drafting an animal protection law. She echoed Coutinho’s remarks and commented that animal protection should be enshrined in law before more animals suffer.
Commenting on the prospect of increasing the animal abuse fine to up to 100,000 patacas, Choi said it was not enough and suggested that the government should stipulate penalties according to the level of injuries an abused animal sustains.(macaunews)