The Secretary for Economy and Finance, via Executive Order No. 76/2016, has amended the concession contract between the Special Administrative Region of Macao and the Companhia de Corridas de Galgos Macau (Yat Yuen), S.A., extending the license of Asia’s only greyhound racing stadium through July 20, 2018, as published in the Official Gazette of Macau and reported by Macau Business Daily.

It is the second such extension since November 2015 when the Macau Canindrone’s ten-year renewal contract that was granted to the company in 2005 expired, and was given a one-year extension through December 31, 2016. At the time, the decision to renew the contract was criticized by Albano Martins, the President of the Society for the Protection of Animals, who said that the Canindrone’s executive director Angela Leong was playing with sensitive issues of the government. The facility has been under scrutiny since Martins claim in April 2015 that dogs that underperformed or that were sick or injured were euthanized regularly and that the Canindrone’s adoption program was also a sham, saving only three dogs since the program’s inception in 2012.

The most recent Executive Order comes amid accusations of animal cruelty from local animal rights group Anima (Society for the Protection of Animals), which said the government was making a “pact with the devil,” according to Macau TDM.

In July this year, the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) gave the Canindrone, which has been operated by Yat Yuen since 1963, two years to move or close completely. The order was issued after a study commissioned by the DICJ conducted by the Bureau. For years the track’s racing profits have fallen, with posted revenue in 2011 of MOP103.3 million (US$12.9 million), decreasing to MOP4.8 million (US$600,600) in 2015, according to the DICJ.

When the most recent extension expires in 2018, authorities say the Canindrone will either have to relocate or be shut down. And they say they are already making plans for the Fai Chi Kei land after that happens. In a reply to TDM, the gambling regulator said, “For the future land use of the plot now occupied by Canidrome, the Government would study alternative use”, according to the news agency.

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