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Angela Leong says racetrack will ‘properly handle’ its dogs

Angela Leong reassured the public that her company will “properly handle” the 600 greyhounds after the government-ordered closure of the racetrack in Fai Chi Kei next year.

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Lawmaker Angela Leong On Kei, the executive director of Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Co. Ltd., reassured the public that her company will “properly handle” the 600 greyhounds after the government-ordered closure of the racetrack in Fai Chi Kei next year.

In July last year, the government told the racetrack operator to vacate the property, a public land lease, within two years. The company’s concession to run greyhound racing will expire on July 20 next year.

However, the government has hinted that if the company finds another venue suitable for dog races, it might be allowed to continue its business.

According to the Macau Post Daily, the government said last week that the company had still not said as to whether it plans to continue running dog races after handing the racetrack in Fai Chi Kei back to the government.

Local animal protection group Anima urged the government in July to allow it to take over the greyhound racetrack in Fai Chi Kei for one year, after the operator shuts down its business there next year, so that the association would have enough time to rehabilitate the greyhounds for adoption overseas.

The animal protection group also said at that time that with the greyhound racetrack slated to close next year, it has been asking for help from likeminded groups around the world to get the greyhounds adopted.

Anima also said at that time it was worried that the greyhounds will be culled after the company closes the racetrack in Fai Chi Kei next year.

Leong said on Sunday that there are currently some 600 greyhounds at the racetrack. She pointed out that her company has been in touch with the owners of the dogs about future arrangements.

Leong did not say how many greyhounds are owned by the company and by individuals.

According to Macau (Yat Yuen) Canidrome Co. Ltd.’s website, the about 600 greyhounds are owned by dozens of people and companies. The number of greyhounds each of these people or companies owns ranges from one to about 30, apart from an entity called M.Y.C. which owns a total of 348 greyhounds, according to the website.

Leong said that even if the government does not assist in the future arrangements for the greyhounds, her company would “properly handle” the canines.

Leong said her company would provide assistance to the owners of the greyhounds to get their dogs adopted. She said that if the respective owners cannot get the greyhounds adopted in Macau, her company might arrange for the greyhounds to be adopted in places including Australia and New Zealand.

Leong also said that her company would not and had not euthanised any greyhounds. She added that some greyhounds were euthanised previously after the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) had checked and deemed it necessary for the animals to be put down.

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