Last week’s announcement that the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) has ordered Macau Canidrome – home to the city’s greyhound racing industry – to relocate or shut down within two years is a tremendous leap forward.
In a press release issued last Thursday, the DICJ noted that it had taken into consideration the need to diversify the city’s gaming industry, but most notable of all was the point that there were substantial “social expectations” surrounding the greyhound racing industry in Macau. That is, the mistreatment of animals will no longer be tolerated in a city desperate to appeal to a wider array of tourists.
The DICJ’s announcement also comes just a few weeks after the NSW State Government in Australia declared it would shut down its greyhound racing industry completely by 1 July 2017 following a recent report revealing animal abuse was ingrained in the industry’s culture. Macau sources the majority of its racing dogs from Australia.
Since Paulo Martins Chan was appointed Director of the DICJ late last year, he has expressed a desire to ensure Macau not only diversifies its entertainment options but markets itself as one of the world’s top tourism destinations.
This decision, which suggests greyhound racing in Macau is likely on its last legs, goes a long way towards fulfilling that promise. It also shows Mr Chan as a progressive leader who recognizes the fact that the world around us is evolving. Simply stated, the abuses of the past can no longer be tolerated.
For this, Mr Chan and the DICJ must be applauded.