Anima, an animal rights group in Macau, is taking aim at the Macau Canidrome. The greyhound racetrack has announced plans to relocate the greyhounds to the Jockey Club temporarily, but Anima has balked at the idea.
Macau Canidrome is currently looking for a permanent home for the 600 canines. It presented its Jockey Club proposal to the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) last Friday, but the animal rights group has argued that the conditions and lack of space at the Jockey Club make the location unsuitable for the animals.
Albano Martins, the head of the activist group, said, “The Jockey Club has no capacity or even quality for those animals to be there,” said Martins. “There are two stables completely destroyed. They need to be rebuilt. They need to do fences, to close many of these areas. And I don’t believe that any of them (stables) can have more than 40 animals each. I don’t believe. So even if they have 50, all together (it’s) one hundred animals there.”
The racetrack also asked for an extension of three months, which was supposedly needed to give the dogs time to pass through a quarantine period and customs clearing process. However, the IACM immediately rejected the request, adding that it would facilitate the processes for the company.
Martins added that the government should allow the greyhounds to stay at Canidrome for a year while adoptive homes are found, and so that they won’t be sent to mainland China. “If the Government is a clever institution, they should negotiate with them: ok, I will give you one year but you promise that all these adoption programs will be transparent, no dogs will go to China. IACM should control and you should get the cooperation with any organization that wants to help you, including Anima,” he said.
According to previous reports, as many as 30 dogs are killed each month at the track. That, coupled with low attendance and public sympathy toward the treatment of the greyhounds, has forced the business to fold. The last official date of operations is scheduled for July 21.
The Macau Canidrome Company Ltd., which operates the racetrack, is owned and controlled by Angela Leong On Kei, a member of the Macau Legislative Assembly. She is also the fourth wife of Stanley Ho Hung-sun, the retired casino tycoon, and is the managing director for SJM Holdings.