Macau Canidrome Extension Request Rejected


The Gaming Inspector and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) has refused the extension request made by The Canidrome, which was seeking to extend its use of the current facilities for an additional 120 days.

In a statement released to the press, DICJ maintained that The Canidrome is still scheduled to vacate the premises by July 20 and that the deadline will stand.

Canidrome to close for good

The Canidrome was rumored to be closing its doors permanently six months ago. It was roughly a year ago when the Greyhound racetrack was informed that it would be required to close its doors permanently or be forced to move from its current location.

Angela Leong On Kei, the current owner, SJM co-chairman and executive director, was made aware of this decision and was supposed to have made alternative arrangements for the Greyhounds. It has, however, been reported that she has failed to find another home for the canines. This is the main reason The Canidrome put in the extension request for four months after the deadline date.

In its statement of the application denial, the DICJ said it carefully considered the request, but, in the end, decided to reject it. It reiterated its initial decision for the canine club to leave its current premises on July 20, 2018, and no later.

The Greyhound racetrack accused of animal cruelty

The Canidrome has been accused several times of what many animal activists have termed as improper treatment of the dogs. Many have questioned the treatment of the canines during their stay at the racetrack and, now, how they will be treated as the track closes. The racetrack considered moving the animals to the Jockey Club. But, this decision saw the owners face severe backlash, considering that the Jockey Club does not have the appropriate facilities to house the Greyhounds.

This potential relocation was not included in the DICJ statement of rejection. In the past, the agency had stated that for such a move to be made legal, the Macau Jockey Club would have to submit an application for land use supervision for approval. This application would then have to also be approved by the relevant authorities in charge of animal protection and management. This, it would seem, was never done.

The DICJ reproaches Canidrome

Although the potential move to the Jockey Club was not addressed by the DICJ, it did admonish The Canidrome’s seemingly irresponsible demeanor toward the animals. The agency reprimanded the racetrack for its complete disregard for the animal’s welfare. It was pointed out that other regions have gradually abandoned all activities related to canine racing largely because of the public’s opposition to the treatment of the animals in such environments.

The DICJ went on to say that Greyhound racing was not one of the activities that would put Macau on the map as a global tourism hub. The agency referenced a plan that The Canidrome had presented in June 2017, which suggested live simulcast broadcasts of foreign and virtual races as a replacement for Greyhound races. The plan was termed as monetization of the leisure and tourism aspect of canine racing by introducing an additional gambling element to them. The agency suggested that the implementation of the plan as presented would fail to live up to the SAR government’s policy on responsible gambling.

It added that after careful study of the transition program, and with respect to increased awareness of animal rights across the globe, Macau will have to follow suit and stop dog racing in order to comply with the universal value of animal rights.

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