Gov’t rejects proposal to move greyhounds to Jockey Club

The Yat Yuen Canidrome Company has proposed that they free up the facilities of the Canidrome by moving some of the greyhounds to the Macau Jockey Club in Taipa.

In the document presented to the government on June 8, the company also requested the extension of the rental contract for three months in order to facilitate such a transition, the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) informed in a statement.

The IACM also noted they expect that the company will fulfill their duties outlined in the deal previously reached in line with the Animal Protection Law which established the date of July 21 as a deadline to vacate the Canidrome facilities, noting, “for the time being, such decision from the MSAR government remains unchanged.”

As for the use of the Jockey Club facilities, the IACM noted in the statement, “the concession contract [for the Jockey Club] is an exclusive for the horse racing [activities].” To fulfil this proposal, the Macau Jockey Club company “must obtain an authorization from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, prior.”

In its statement, the IACM also noted the expectations of Yat Yuen, “as the company responsible [for the Canidrome facility] the elaboration of an appropriate plan for the relocation of the greyhounds,  should not take into account the use of public resources.”

In his column published today by the Times [see full version on page 20], Albano Martins, president of the local Animal protection association “Anima”, said that the government continues to have a “loose” attitude towards the problem. “The Macau government policy seems [to be the] usual ‘laissez faire, laissez passer’ (leave it alone) posture, ‘washing their hands’ when the topic addresses [what they call] the free market,” he wrote.
Martins added also that Canidrome is well aware that very few greyhounds can be adopted in the period of less than 90 days, “so they use that argument at the end of the deadline to state: no one or just a few people were interested in adopting them,” as the company had previously announced their intentions of sending the greyhounds to mainland China.

Martins said that such arguments cannot serve as an excuse as the company, “knew already, with two years in advance, that they would have to close in July this year.”
Martins also remarked that Anima, during this period, has been constantly writing letters and offering suggestions, anticipating precisely the problems that the company is now claiming to have encountered.
“Anima has raised around 430 potential adopters from all over the world including Macau and Hong Kong, sure [the process] cannot be concluded in one and half months’ time but will take several months or even years,” he said. “[We] recently offered again our support to the Canidrome for its adoption program, [proposal which] as usual, [received] no replies from both the government and the company.”

For the president of Anima, the “Macau government will be under very tight observation and scrutiny from both the local and international community and I believe also from China central government authorities, regarding what happen to these greyhounds.” RM

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