The Macau Canidrome dog-racing track closes on 24 July. People sensitive to the needs of animals will say good riddance. For decades Angela Leong On-kei’s house of shame has been attacked for cruelty, blood and death. Now international attention is focused on what will happen to the approximately 650 greyhounds still there.
Hong Kong Legislative Councillor Claudia Mo Ma-ching said she believed about 100 of the dogs will be adopted by Hong Kong people. The current head of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Dr So Ping-man has discussed with Macau authorities shortening the quarantine period for dogs who come the short distance to Hong Kong, Claudia said.
Fears have been expressed that some dogs have been sold to unscrupulous opportunists who want to profit by selling their blood for transfusions. Macau’s sole animal rights group has offered to take over the kennels and look after the dogs, but the government rejected this. Another concern is that the greyhounds may be sold to underground racing operations on the mainland.
Founded in 1931, the Macau Canidrome is a run-down place that saddens visitors sensitive to the plight of the animals. Since the 1960s it has been staging 12 races a night five days a week.The owner is Angela Leong, fourth wife of casino king Stanley Ho Hung-sun. The Government gave the canidrome two years notice to quit. An Australian senatorial report said dogs that are not racing are kept in small cages stacked on top of each other. It said no dog comes out of the canidrome alive. Greyhounds that do not finish in the top three in five races will be killed by injection, the Australian report said. Allegedly dogs die at the Macau Canidrome at the rate of 400 a year. Every greyhound arriving at the track dies within three years.
Angela Leong is a Macau legislator, managing director of SJM Holdings, the casino company, and a rich woman with estimated worth of $4.1 billion.
If you would like to adopt a canidrome dog, look up the Save Macau Greyhounds page on Facebook.