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Macau animal protection group wants to create mega-shelter in Alentejo

An ambitious plan to rescue hundreds of race-greyhounds from misery in Macau has been revealed by Asian animal protection association Anima. Anima has been working for years to shut down the notorious Canidrome dog track in Macau and is now facing the question: “Where can these animals be rehomed?” A 30-50 hectare property in the Alentejo is under consideration as a stop-gap shelter, all that is missing is a benefactor.

Anima’s president Albano Martins explains to Macau website Ponto Final that Portugal is a perfect place for an international animal shelter, as most of the homes willing to take abandoned animals will be found in Europe.

Not only that, he told reporter Sílvia Gonçalves, the country’s upcoming ‘no-kill’ policy at municipal pounds will soon see space running out in existing infrastructures.

Thus, the site “in the Alentejo” that “is not yet bought” but which he has identified, and over which “there are meetings planned”.

Martins explains that among many of the hurdles ahead will be a licence to import the Canidrome’s dogs, as “this number of animals entering Portugal is not permitted by law”.

Much has still to be decided – and of course the next stumbling block will be finding the funds to finance the project.

“We need a patron”, Albano told Ponto Final, adding he is confident that the association will find one.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com