Nearly 2,700 netizens have signed an online petition started by the Macau Society for the Protection of Animals (ANIMA) which urges the government to abolish the city’s greyhound races for good by not renewing Yat Yuen Canidrome’s betting licence which will expire in October 2015.
Talking to The Macau Post Daily about the group’s campaign which started on Saturday, ANIMA President Albano Martins said that apart from the online petition they had also collected hundreds of signatures from visitors to their shelter, adding that starting from tomorrow ANIMA would also collect residents’ signatures in the streets.
Martins, an economist by profession, also said that the online petition and signature-collection drive would continue until July.
“We’ll collect as many signatures as we can… we hope the chief executive [Fernando Chui Sai On] will respond to our appeal as soon as possible,” he said, adding that if Chui did not respond to their petition the group would call for support from international organisations.
Albano also said that in July and October ANIMA would hold meetings with international organisations which would also discuss the local dog racing issue.
Asked about recent comments by SJM Executive Director Angela Leong On Kei that the canidrome had a history and contributed to the local economy, Albano said: “No-one lives in the past… Macau does not need Yat Yuen… the land [on which the canidrome stands] should be used for the Fai Chi Kei [district] community.”
Chui said last month that the Yat Yuen Canidrome was part of the collective memory of several generations of local people.
The dog-racing track is run by a company affiliated to gaming tycoon Stanley Ho Hung Sun’s gambling empire. Animal rights activists have slammed dog races as cruel. (macaunews/macaupost)