SJM Managing Director and Chief Administrative Officer Angela Leong said Tuesday that if any of the owners of greyhounds at the local racetrack didn’t want their dogs when it closes for good in July, she could take all of them.
Leong, a directly elected lawmaker, made the remarks when asked by a reporter about the future of the over 600 greyhounds at the dog racetrack in Fai Chi Kei district, on the sidelines of the signing ceremony of an occupational safety and health charter at Grand Lisboa.
In July 2016 the government told the racetrack operator, Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Co. Ltd, to vacate the property, a public land concession, within two years. The company’s concession to run greyhound racing will expire on July 20 this year. Leong heads the company.
Local animal protection group Anima urged the government last year to allow it to take over the Fai Chi Kei racetrack for a year, after the operator shuts down its business there this year, so that the group has enough time to rehabilitate the hundreds of greyhounds for adoption overseas.
Leong said, “I believe that the dogs [at the racetrack] are now living well …and the owners of those dogs love and care about their dogs.”
Leong said she had noticed rumours about the greyhounds being mistreated or killed, adding that it was blackening the company’s name. She also said that her company had invited some Anima members to visit the dog racetrack.
Leong also she had noticed that some people were trying to raise 5 million euros (48.5 million patacas) to move the greyhounds from Macau to Portugal. She hinted there was, however, no need to rehome the dogs overseas. She insisted there was no need either for “other people” to intervene in the process of rehoming the greyhounds.
Leong urged the public not to listen to information about the greyhounds released by anyone but her.
Leong said if she would ask her friends to help her rehome the dogs, there would be many wanting to get one.