Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Vice Chairman and former chief executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah and gaming mogul Steve Wynn were awarded “Life Honorary Presidencies” by Anima on Wednesday for supporting the organisation in its effort to protect animals over the years.
The animal protection organisation’s president Albano Martins presented the awards to Ho and Wynn during a charity dinner at Wynn Macau, where Sands China’s chief executive officer Ed Tracey and Galaxy Entertainment Group’s president and chief operating officer Michael Mecca were also present as they are regular donors to the organisation, along with about 200 attendees.
Martins said in his speech that Ho had assisted the organisation with getting its own premises in Coloane to house its animal shelter and also funds to pay the expenses, also pointing out that it was Ho who passed a regulation that reduces animal licence fees by 75 percent and gave the organisation the status of an administrative public utility.
“He is a kind of last resort when we face problems,” Martins was quoted by The Macau Post Daily as saying.
Martins also mentioned that he was happy to see that a small organisation like Anima was able to get the gaming industry to join their event and that with Ho and Wynn’s support, it would serve as an example to other gaming operators to help protect animals.
Martins said that with Wynn’s two million pataca donation last year, the organisation was “able finally to pay all our outstanding debts and finance part of our 2012 budget”.
Wynn said on receiving his award that the work of the shelter was “critically important” to the community.
“It proves that Macau has a heart and cares about animals, which as far as Andrea and I are concerned, have every right to be on this planet as we do,” Wynn said, adding that it was a “terrible” feeling when animals are being abused and abandoned.
“So we, Andrea and I, have pledged personally to support the animal shelter for a million patacas this year,” Wynn, with his wife at his side, said, offering to donate another million patacas to match the funds raised from the dinner.
Martins later told reporters that it costs five million patacas a year to run the shelter, which annually spends 600,000 patacas on food and 500,000 patacas on medications such as vaccinations and fees to neuter and spay animals they rescue during the year.
Martins also said that he will be meeting Chief Executive Chui Sai On after next month where he will ask the government to terminate the operating licence of the Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome to end greyhound racing, as well as to amend current regulations by raising the fine meted out to animal cruelty offenders to 60,000 patacas and a five-year ban owning a pet.
It was also announced during the dinner that Macau’s first pet magazine “Pets&Hugs” will be launched in June, and will be published bi-monthly in Chinese and English.(macaunews)