Macao’s vets – who have operated without a licence up till now – are to be regulated under a long-awaited bill currently being drafted for the Legislative Assembly in order to improve animal protection and health control.
Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong Weng Chon said the bill proposes to establish a system of veterinarians’ professional accreditation and licensing, as well as supervision of clinical veterinary care and animal breeding facilities, trade and accommodation.
If the bill is passed by the Legislative Assembly, it will become the first compulsory veterinary licensing legislation in Macao which will ban unlicenced veterinarians from conducting medical or surgical treatment of animals, thereby filling a legal gap regarding veterinary accreditation and regulation of animal clinics.
The bill proposes to set up a committee consisting of seven veterinary professionals to develop a professional accreditation system for the sector and approve veterinarians’ professional accreditations, and also to submit recommendations to the Municipal Affairs Bureau on the renewal of the accreditations.
Under the bill, the committee will be allowed to take disciplinary action concerning veterinarians’ disciplinary breaches. The proposed maximum penalty is the forfeiture of a veterinarian’s licence.
The bill proposes to create separate administrative permits for animal clinics and other animal businesses, stipulating that the two types of business will not be allowed to be located in real estate used for residential purposes.
The bill also proposes that animal traders will not be allowed to sell diseased animals, and that animal breeding facilities will be barred from keeping more dogs or cats than the maximum number to be allowed by the government, The Macau Post Daily reported.