Local animal welfare association Anima Macau has joined forces with the Portuguese League for Animal Rights (LPDA), Pet Levrieri and GREY2K to organize a worldwide campaign aimed at stopping dog-racing events in Portugal.
The animal welfare organizations have so far gathered the support of 80 organizations from all over the world, according to Anima. Around 35,000 supporters have signed a petition to protect greyhounds by stopping races.
The group also wrote letters to Portuguese officials, namely Prime Minister António Costa and President of the Portuguese Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, calling on them to mediate with Portuguese Parliamentary Groups in order to pass legislation that prohibits dog racing in the country.
Despite Article 13 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which states that non-human animals are sentient beings, the alliance claims that the dog-racing industry has been allowed to establish itself. Dog-racing is now “a systematic activity with economic interests at its core,” the group says in a letter to Costa, to which the Times had access.
The alliance urges government authorities to take action against the practice of “using, abusing and discarding” greyhounds and Portuguese Galgos, which have been used for betting and are kept in “cruel” conditions, according to the activists.