Macau locals call for closure of Canidrome

Macau locals, academics and animal rights activists are calling for the closure of the Macau Canidrome, saying it is now out-dated and unprofitable, local media reports.

The Macau Canidrome is the only greyhound racetrack in operation in Asia, which has seen revenue and profitability declining over the years.

In a statement to Lusa, Economist José Luís Sales Marques said greyhound racing in Macau is a “completely extemporaneous activity” that “gives a bad image to Macau”.

Last year, total revenue from the Canidrome amounted to MOP 125 million (US$15.6 million), only 0.05 per cent of Macau’s total gaming revenue, according to the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ).

“Times have changed. The Canidrome doesn’t have a reason to exist anymore. It doesn’t produce profit, so it doesn’t make sense. We have different sensibilities now and it’s hard for us to see the abuse the animals there suffer. We should dismantle it,” said lawyer and president of the community group Associação dos Macaenses (Macanese Association), Miguel Senna Fernandes in a quote to Lusa.

While the 50-year Canidrome license was due to expire last year, the Macau government choose to extend it for another year.

However, last month, it was revealed that  Yat Yuen Canidrome Co. may not have its concession renewed, as it has become “more and more difficult” to import greyhounds to Macau, and that is a “crucial” aspect for the government to consider when deciding whether to renew the contract of the Canidrome.

According to a government official “a decision will be made in one or two months” on whether to renew the contract with Canidrome or not.

It is also worth noting that recent demonstrations against the import and export of greyhounds is said to have “expedited the process” in Macau.