Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) Consultative Committee member Lei Wun Kong suggested at a regular meeting on Thursday that Macao should prohibit the consumption of wild animals and clarify the scope of edible animal species, in order to improve food safety and reduce public health risks.
The regular meeting took place at the IAM headquarters on Thursday. Members of the committee presented their work report about its May-June activity plan.
Lei said that due to the need for future virus prevention, it was necessary to increase food safety and animal protection efforts in Macao. Lei pointed out that besides the current regulations, Macao should also ban the consumption of wild animals and specify which animals are allowed to be eaten by humans, similar to related regulations in Zhuhai.
He added that there should also be penalties for activities such as hunting, selling, buying, supplying, slaughtering, storing and transporting wild animals that are banned for consumption.
Early this year, the 16th meeting of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, which was held in Beijing on 24 February, passed a new regulation about the prohibition of the consumption of, and trade in, wild animals.
In addition, on 1 May, Zhuhai also implemented a regulation on the prohibition of consuming wildlife, which clarified the scope of edible animals. It is prohibited to eat wild animals, cats and dogs in Zhuhai now.
According to the World Animal Protection non-governmental organisation (NGO), in recent years, numerous wild animal species have been introduced to the market as luxury food, medicinal materials and pets. Trade has become one of the biggest reasons for the global extinction of animals.
A report about the global trade in wild animals as pets released by the NGO last year showed that the annual turnover of trade in the world’s flora and fauna has reached US$42 billion (MOP 331.95 billion), of which illegal trade is estimated at US$20 billion. Most of the profits comes from endangered and protected animals being traded as pets. The estimated turnover does not include the ingested or medicinal use of wild animals, according to the report.