Editorial | Canidoomed

Paulo Coutinho

Paulo Coutinho

We live in a world of causes, as opposed to a world of ideologies.
From the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution throughout the 20th century, ideologies have marked, and marred, the better part of our lives. But the world as we knew it changed dramatically after the turn of the millennium, in large part due to extraordinary advances in technology and in the way we communicate.
Distances became smaller, interests became closer, exchange of information and access to information, became more and more democratic. And the world became “flat.”
Today, a citizen or a concern group can call the attention of thousands worldwide with meager means and put the good or the bad word out about an issue, an interest, or a cause.
The cause against the cruelty on greyhounds at the Macau Canidrome, launched by Anima through an online petition, prompted protests of thousands throughout Europe, which in turn resulted in the boycotting of dog transportation by major airlines, like Qantas, British Airways and Qatar.
News last week in Macau Daily Times on the possible closure of the Canidrome by the government drew tens of thousands to our website. The comments go from praising the government’s leaning toward closing the races to intense calls to have a halt put to the operations at the Macanese racetrack.
This inflammatory chain-reaction comes as no surprise at a time when animal rights protection is on the top of most societies’ political agendas, even in conservative Macau or in more or less democratic regimes – because causes, unlike ideologies, traverse society.
But the government should not look at the issue and decide on shutting down the Canidrome because of the “international pressure” or because of “the damages to Macau’s international reputation.” The government should decide in good conscience: because it is the right thing to do, and the sensible thing to do.
So far, the authorities seem to be taking a pragmatic approach to the problem. Increased “difficulties to import greyhounds,” which already led to reducing the number of races each race night, will be a “crucial aspect” in the decision-making process. In the end, the closure of the Canidrome will happen because the operation itself failed.
The animal cruelty, the claimed slaughter of 400 dogs per year combined with the ruinous business operation, which has survived for years on public funds, are reasons enough for the cause.
PS: Today Macau Daily Times enters its 9th year of publication. We take the opportunity to thank our readers, advertisers, partners and friends for your constant support. Without you, this endeavor would not have been possible.

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