The Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Co. Ltd. has abandoned 533 greyhounds at the Canidrome on Friday night after the government refused their proposal to keep the Canidrome operational in order to keep the animals.
The company is owned by politician and businesswoman Angela Leong On-kei, the fourth wife of Stanley Ho.
Today, the South China Morning Post writes that “As one of Macau’s most powerful public figures, she has sadly failed to meet her responsibility as effective owner of the dogs used for the only racing track in Macau. There should have been plenty of time for her to settle the animals humanely, despite efforts by many animal welfare activists to put in an adoption programme as well as offers from around the world to shelter those dogs.”
The Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) said that the premises were inspected by his staff and vets. All dogs were in relatively good condition.
A statement from IACM said that a plan was put in place some days ago to intervene in case the animals are abandoned.
Dog owners have seven days to collect their dogs or be fined with amounts between MOP 20,000-100,000.
The move by Macau authorities will help guarantee the animals’ welfare.
The racing contract ended 20 July.
IACM said in a statement on Thursday that it “condemns” the Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Co. Ltd. for “shirking” its responsibility to house its greyhounds after it had received a letter from the company proposing the “reversion” of the dogs to the government after the official closure of the racetrack.
The letter was forwarded by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) to the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau – which oversees the city’s animal protection.
Yat Yuen says in its letter that the greyhounds are “part of the assets” for its concession to run greyhound racing and that they
should revert to the government following the expiration of the dog-racing concession.
During a press conference on Wednesday on the government’s procedures following the racetrack’s closure, officials insisted that the greyhounds are not part of the assets to revert to the government according to the dog-racing agreement.
The statement reiterated that Yat Yuen, as a large company and the dogs’ provider of food and shelter, is responsible for properly relocating the greyhounds.
The statement also said that if the greyhounds are abandoned at the Fai Chi Kei racetrack, the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau will fine the company in line with the Animal Protection Law.
The bureau promised that it will ensure that the “retired” greyhounds will be properly taken care of.