Yat Yuen Canidrome, the only greyhound racing stadium in Asia, is back on track as the Macau government renewed its contract for a year.
According to Macau’s Official Gazette, the Canidrome’s exclusive contract, which was scheduled to expire end of this year, was renewed until 31st December next year.
Albano Martins, president of Anima or the Society for the Protection of Animals, criticized the decision saying Canidrome’s executive director Angela Leong was playing with the government’s sensitive issues.
“This lady has a concession for a greyhound racing track, now she is saying she wants to protect the city’s creative industries and wants to create housing for the youth, as if she were the owner of the land and thinks we’re all stupid,” Martins told Macau TDM.
Canidrome, the only greyhound racing stadium in Asia, has been in the spotlight since April, when Martins claimed that more than 30 dogs are being killed each month due to underperformance, injury or illness. Martins also called the greyhound’s adoption program a sham as only three dogs have been adopted since the firm launched the program in 2012.
Anima submitted a petition, which gained 300,000 signatures, calling for a stop to the track’s operation. A group of international celebrities and athletes have written to Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai-on requesting that the gov’t close the track after its lease expired, calling it the cruelest greyhound track in existence.
Leong was expecting the contract to be renewed for two or three years to give the track sufficient time execute its plan, which contains a wide range of objectives including providing family services, sports facilities and support to local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as cultural and creative industries. The track also plans to refurbish its existing facilities with additional features to attract tourists.
Last month, the government commissioned the University of Macau’s (UM) Institute for the Study of Commercial Gaming (ISCG) to conduct a one-year research project on the track.