Animal rights | IACM, Anima dismiss allegations of poor Canidrome facilities

IACM representatives and Albano Martins (right)

The Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) and Anima Macau have dismissed allegations regarding the kennels’ facilities and hygiene, stressing that the parties have been offering the best they can to the retired canines.

It has been two weeks since the partnership between the animal rights group and the Canidrome started.

As the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) announced it had received a complaint about the ongoing process of looking after the retired greyhounds at the defunct racetrack kennel, Anima explained that the organization is slowly making changes to the management of the kennels.

“Anima has nothing to do with the complaint and at this stage, Anima is only checking on the situation of the greyhounds and will only take care of the greyhounds who will not be able to find adopters,” said Anima president Albano Martins.

He said the kennels are still in need of further improvement, but noted the changes that had been made over the past two weeks.

During a press visit to the Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome yesterday, IACM and Anima presented its oldest greyhounds and those who had been neutered or had undergone dental procedures.

According to Martins, these old greyhounds will not be adopted and will be under Anima’s care. The oldest greyhound is 13 years old.

The facilities where the greyhounds are currently housed

Some 40 greyhounds suffer from health conditions including skin disease and arthritis. All 532 of the retired canines suffer from either light or serious periodontal disease.

Those who were in a more serious condition underwent surgery, while 12 have already been sterilized.

Currently, there are over 30 volunteers looking after the greyhounds across nine kennels.

“We are teaching [them] how to manage a kennel according [to] what they do and teaching them the best way to teach kennel management,” said Martins, adding that the group had already changed the canines’ meal times.

According to the animal rights activist, there are currently two handlers and two cleaners for each kennel.

“For sure the conditions are not the best, [it has only been] 15 days and we [still] have to improve. That is Anima’s job. […] We are doing the best we can with the limitations we have. We are not hiding anything. Now we only have to improve, and this takes time,” he said.

Regarding the controversial requirement that all 533 greyhounds should be neutered within 60 days, the animal rights activist said that it may be one of the ways of preventing the greyhounds from being used for breeding when adopted.

He also implied that the parties are focusing on the greyhounds’ periodontal diseases instead.

“I understood that that was a way for the government to force Yat Yuen to make sure that the greyhounds are desexed because we do not want these dogs to go to other countries and be used [for breeding],” he said.

Meanwhile, IACM’s Administrative Committee member Ung Sau Hong stressed that the sterilization of greyhounds will depend on the health condition of the dog.

“We are not regulating that the dogs must be sterilized in 60 days, but we are regulating that the dogs have to be sterilized before they are adopted,” she said.

Furthermore, Anima said that it is studying the feasibility of sending greyhounds to a compound in Hong Kong.

Martins said that negotiations with a company he did not reveal are underway. 

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