Elderly residents demand action on greyhound noise

A group of elderly residents hand-delivered a petition to the government yesterday afternoon to protest the relocation of some 500 greyhounds to their Coloane neighborhood, which they say has brought problems of noise and odor.

Led by spokesperson Sister Beatrice Ip, the group resides at Asilo Vila Madalena in Coloane village, home to approximately 80 senior citizens, many of whom are over 90 years old.

Ip said the first batch of the greyhounds from the Canidrome rehousing program began on Wednesday and that the residents are already concerned about the animals’ noise and smell.

As many as 500 dogs are expected to be housed at the Coloane site, which is very close to Asilo Vila Madalena, once their relocation is complete.

“The smell and the noise of the dogs will disturb the whole village,” Ip told the media yesterday outside of the government headquarters. “When one dog starts to bark, the others do too. Then the street dogs start barking. If the whole place is filled with dogs, we will not be able to sleep. It will become very loud.”

“Most of our elderly ladies cannot move so much; only these few [present at the meeting yesterday] could come out. If there is any problem, it will be difficult for these elderly people to do something about it,” she added.

The group’s petition seeks answers from the authorities on whether the project was approved by the relevant government departments, and whether the Canidrome or the government should have consulted with residents in the area.

Ip added that other people in the neighborhood “are [also] not happy about it [the situation] but they haven’t fully understood the outcomes yet.”

In the petition, the senior citizens and their relatives described the situation as an emergency and requested an urgent meeting with the government, as well as a written reply within 10 days.

Last week, the Social Affairs Bureau director, Vong Yim Mui, said that his bureau had sent staff to the senior citizens’ home to learn their opinions and to provide assistance if necessary.

The greyhounds are being relocated after the Macau (Yat Yuen) Company concession for greyhound racing expired on July 20. The company had operated in Macau for more than half a century.

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