Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On said on Thursday that the government would consider building social, cultural, sports and recreation facilities on the plot of land currently leased by Macau Yat Yuen Canidrome Co. Ltd. for its controversial greyhound races, according to a statement by the Office of the Chief Executive (GCE).
The government announced in July last year that the company will have to shut down the racetrack within two years. The government also said the operator would need to find another location if it wants to continue greyhound racing. Animal protection activists have called for a total of the “cruel” dog races in Macau.
The government’s decision means that the company has to shut down the racetrack in Fai Chi Kei before July 21 next year. Chui made the remarks during a meeting with the principals of five schools – Workers’ Children High School, Choi Nong Chi Tai School, Macau Kung Luen Vocational & Technical Middle School, Hoi Fai School, and Fong Chong School of Taipa – and lawmakers Lam Heong Sang and Ella Lei Cheng J at Government Headquarters, the statement said.
According to the statement, Chui said the government would notallow hotels and casinos to be built on the plot of land. Chui also said the government would consider the city’s development when planning its use.
Moreover, Chui said the government planned to develop the plot of land to raise residents’ living standards, especially those living in the northern district.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting outside Government Headquarters, Lei said many pupils of schools in the peninsula’s northern district have to run in the areas surrounding their schools during physical education classes, which Lei said she believed put the pupils at risk.
Lei said: “I hope that the government will keep the sports facilities at the Yat Yuen Canidrome for residents and pupils in the neighbourhood.”
Workers’ Children High School Vice Principal Lam Lon Wai said the five schools had handed about 6,000 letters signed by parents to Chui, urging the government to support the development of education and solve the problem of lac of space for sport.
Choi Nong Chi Tai School Principal Vong Kuoc Ieng told reports that Chui had told them that the government did not intend to build residential buildings on the plot of land to be vacated by the dog-racing operator next year.