Eight local animal welfare and protection groups petitioned the government on Tuesday, urging it to adopt the trap-neuter-release (TNR) programme to humanely solve the city’s stray problem.
The Abandoned Animals Protection Association of Macau (AAPAM) said on its social media page on Tuesday that eight groups had submitted the petition, addressed to Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng, to representatives at Government Headquarters, with non-establishment lawmaker Sulu Sou Ka Hou in attendance.
The eight groups are AAPAM, Stray Dogs Protection Association of Macau, Macau Animal Welfare Association, Long Long Animal Asylum Home, Dandelion Animals Protect Association of Macau, FURMILY, Paradise for Homeless Dogs, and Long Long (Macao) Volunteers Group.
“Long long” is a Cantonese term referring to strays.
The petition comes after IAM President José Tavares said last week that it was illegal to feed strays and that there was no condition to run TNR in Macao, in response to Sou’s letter to him regarding animal protection issues.
The animal protection groups’ petition, which was made public on AAPAM’s social media page, states that the government’s way of catching then euthanising the strays would never be able to catch up with multiplication of the stray population.
The petition claims that the authorities’ “catch and kill” approach isn’t in line with the image of an international metropolis, nor the spirit of animal protection, suggesting the government adopt the TNR method, which, according to the petition, is a more scientific and more humane way of solving the stray animal problem, and has been approved by animal-protection advocacy groups and animal lovers as the best method based on the principals of animal protection.
The petition also asks which clause in the current Animal Protection Law says that feeding stray animals equates with abandonment and therefore could be considered breaching an animal owner’s duties which constitutes animal abandonment, according to Tavares’s response to Sou’s letter.
The group suggests in the petition volunteer training and the issuance of volunteer licences to complement the TNR programme where volunteers are assigned to different districts to feed the strays.