The Legislative Assembly (AL) finally passed the government-initiated bill on animal protection, which is slated to take effect on September 1 after its promulgation in the Official Gazette (BO), during a plenary session on Monday.
The bill’s outline was approved in October 2014. The legislature’s 1st Standing Committee held 28 meetings to review the bill over the past two years, legislator-cum-unionist Kwan Tsui Hang, who chairs the committee, said during Monday’s session.
Macau’s first-ever animal protection law states that dogs weighing 23 kilogrammes or more must wear a muzzle in public areas unless they have passed an obedience test by the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM). The law fixes the maximum prison term for animal abuse at one year, and all dogs living in certain areas such as construction sites and junkyards must be neutered and licensed.
Speaking in the legislature’s hemicycle, lawmaker-cum-gaming executive Angela Leong On Kei urged the bureau to put more effort into raising “residents’ sense of keeping their dogs according to the law” while lawmaker-cum-Bank of China advisor Cheang Chi Keong said the government should do its best to prevent dogs from attacking people, adding that “it’s a matter of life and death”.