Local animal protection group Anima urged the government to allow it to take over the greyhound racetrack in Fai Chi Kei for one year, after the Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Co. Ltd. shuts down its business there in July next year, so that the association would have enough time to rehabilitate the greyhounds for adoption overseas.
Anima President Albano Martins made the remarks during a press conference at the association’s office in Nam Van.
According to The Macau Post Daily, in July last year, the government told the operator to vacate the property – a public leasehold – within two years. The company’s concession to run greyhound racing will expire on July 20 next year.
However, the government has hinted that if the company finds another venue for dog races, it could be allowed to continue its business.
Lawmaker Angela Leong On Kei is the executive director of Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Co. Ltd. The company has still not said whether it plans to continue running dog races after handing the racetrack in Fai Chi Kei back to the government.
Some local commentators have called for the races to continue since they are a part of the city’s heritage. Albano said that with the greyhound racetrack slated to close next year, his association has been asking for help from animal protection groups around the world to get the 650 greyhounds adopted.
Albano admitted that some of the greyhounds are not owned by the company but by individuals.
Albano said that Anima was cooperating with an animal protection group in Italy and a like-minded group in the United States, asking other animal protection organisations around the world to assist in the adoption of the greyhounds from Macau.
Albano said he was worried that the greyhounds in the Canidrome will be killed after the company closes the racetrack in Fai Chi Kei next year.
Albano said Anima had asked the local government to allow it to take over the plot for one year, during which it could arrange for the greyhounds to be rehabilitated and rehomed overseas. He said Anima had asked Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On and Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac if this would be possible. He didn’t elaborate.
Albano said his group had received 250 applications from around the world – including 100 from France, 60 from Italy and 60 from the United States – to adopt the greyhounds.
Albano said that Anima would not send any of the 650 greyhounds in Macau to countries where animals are not well protected by law.
Albano also said that Anima’s expenditure stood at 9.1 million patacas last year, adding that he expected this year’s expenditure to be 8.7 million patacas.