The Macau dog racetrack is set to close next year and one of the plans to save the greyhounds that are there is to send them to Portugal, according to a statement from local animal protection society Anima’s President Albano Martins.
Martins posted a statement on his social media page on Tuesday, reaching out to people to support Anima’s latest campaign to save the greyhounds from the racetrack by sending them to a re-homing centre in Portugal, or giving them up for adoption elsewhere.
The government last year ordered Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Co. Ltd to shut down its dog racing business in Fai Chi Kei when its concession expires next year. The government has said it would allow the company to continue its races if it finds a new venue.
The possible closure of the race track has raised concerns as to what will happen to the greyhounds there, with Martins saying in the statement that he has come up with three plans to save the canines.
According to the statement, one of the plans is to get the government to grant Anima a permanent concession for the land in Coloane it is currently using for its shelter under a temporary concession so that it could expand the shelter.
Martins pointed out, however, that Anima would probably not be able to get the government’s land concession approval in time to save the greyhounds; therefore he suggested sending some of the greyhounds to a re-homing centre in Portugal and at the same putting the dogs up for adoption elsewhere in Europe or the US.
Martins said that Anima was asking the local government to convince the dog-racing company to let Anima take care of the greyhounds for two years during which his group would raise the necessary funds to pay for the transportation of some of the greyhounds to Portugal.
In case this doesn’t work, Martins’ other plan is reaching out globally, calling on supporters to help save the greyhounds by adopting them, preferably in Europe or the US.
The statement noted that the racetrack currently owns about 120 greyhounds, while around 520 are owned by punters. According to Martins, the international adoption process would cost between HK$25,000 and HK$30,000 per greyhound. More adoption details are available on animamacau.org.
“We must manage the situation of these animals very carefully and as fast as we can,” Martins said, “Otherwise when the [racetrack] closes at the end of 2018, no animals will still be alive.”