Anima makes its last ‘wake-up call’ to the gov’t

Albano Martins (center)

The Anima – Society for the Protection of Animals in Macau is giving the government its last “wake-up call” after nine years of campaigning to call attention to the problem of greyhounds at the Canidrome facilities, the president of the association, Albano Martins said in press conference this week.

While conducting a review of all the processes that began approximately nine years ago, Martins noted the “constant warnings” that Anima gave to the government, in particular to the office of the Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong who “never gave us one single reply to all our letters.”

In the letter to the Secretary, Anima reaffirmed its intention to provide solutions for the adoption of the 650 greyhounds currently in the possession of the Canidrome Company.

As shown to the media, the association claims to have found, through several international organizations, adopters for all the dogs currently in the Canidrome. “To prove to them that we have adopters, we [found organizations that accept the dogs for adoption]. In just two days we found 650 adopters, and we have here 650 adoption forms filled and signed by me and validated by Anima and by the international organization,” Martins said, while showing off a big pile of forms and adding, “Now I want to see what the Canidrome will say.”

As explained by the president of the association, these applications will be delivered today to the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM).
According to the same representative and due to the fact that the Canidrome says that it cannot find local adopters and intends to send the animals to the mainland, the government needs to “finally wake-up and make a decision.” There are two possible solutions: “Either we take care of the place [Canidrome facilities] on our own or in cooperation with IACM, or the government should take care of it through IACM.”
In either situation, Martins claims it is necessary to keep the facilities where the dogs are kept operational in order to allow the adoption and shipping processes to happen quickly in accordance with the rules of each country or region.
“That’s why we ask the government to allow the Canidrome to continue being operational for one more year but without the gambling [betting and greyhound races] to allow us enough time to process the adoptions.” He noted, for instance, that to be allowed to travel to Europe, the dogs required blood tests at least three months prior to travelling, while to be adopted in and shipped to the neighboring region of Hong Kong, “there is a quarantine period of four months.”

Since there is no possibility for the local market to absorb the current high number of dogs, the Anima proposes to partner with international organizations to Europe (Italy) and the USA to allow the transfer and adoption of the animals in Europe and in American continents, and become responsible for the adoptions in Macau, Hong Kong and Australia.

According to the list of potential adopters, only around 10 percent of the greyhounds currently possessed by the Canidrome could stay in Macau or Hong Kong. The remaining ones will be redistributed worldwide for adoption, “free of charge.”

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