By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
Despite Macau still has no animal rights law in effect, Secretary for Administration and Justice Florinda Chan said the two giant pandas are protected by an endangered animal protection convention which is applicable to Macau since 1987.
The secretary told reporters on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the MOP 90 million Panda Habitat theme park in Seac Pai Van, Coloane.
Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Edmund Ho Hau Wah, deputy secretary-general of the State Council Zhang Yong, were among the guests invited to chair the ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday.
According to Florinda Chan, the Government hoped that visitors will not only be happy after seeing the pair of pandas “Hoi Hoi” and “Sam Sam”, but can also be aware of the importance of animal conservation.
“Pandas are a very rare animal and Macau must take actions to make people become more conscious about their responsibility to protect them. Besides rare animals, I believe the nature and other animals also deserves conservation,” she told reporters.
“Since 1987 a convention to protect endangered animals is already applicable to Macau. As for whether or not other supporting laws and regulations are needed, the Government will work on it at appropriate time, but don’t forget the convention is applicable to Macau,” she stressed.
There are already four giant pandas in Hong Kong’s Ocean Park but the secretary said Macau’s panda park has “different positioning,” admitting that at this stage the territory does not have the conditions to introduce more facilities and animals into the site.
However, she disclosed that the Macau Government has already expressed a request to the State Forestry Administration that in the future, it would like to gradually bring more rare animals into the panda park “when the timing is appropriate”.
A ticketing office will be open from 11am to 7pm daily between this Friday and February 10 at the Macau Forum where tickets can be bought one month in advance.
When the park is officially open to the public on January 28, a special bus service will begin to operate from 9.30am to 6pm to transport visitors between Praça de Ferreira do Amaral and the Panda Habitat.