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Macao's public calls for criminalizing cruelty to animals
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More than 500 people in Macao Sunday took to the street with more than 70 cats and dogs in a march organized by a local animal protection group, which called upon local authorities to criminalize activities concerning maltreating animals.

The march, organized by the non-profit Abandoned Animals Protect Association of Macao (AAPAM), was a direct response from the city's animal enthusiasts to a cat "barbecuing" case last month, which saw 11 teenagers detained for burning a cat.

Yoko Choi Wing Chi, cofounder of AAPAM, said that those teenagers' violent behavior toward animals is "intolerable" and cruelty to animals should be criminalized in a bid to prevent similar cases from occurring in the future.

Carrying banners and shouting out slogans against animal maltreatment, the protesters marched peacefully to the local government headquarters to hand over their petition, and the whole process of the march lasted for about 45 minutes.

Last month, 11 Macao teenagers, aged between 11 and 14, were arrested by local police on Valentine's Day for "barbecuing" a cat they claimed to be already dead at a local vacated construction site, but they were later released as minors under the age of 16 cannot be charged with a crime under the Macao laws.

(Xinhua News Agency, March 10, 2008)

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