The closure of Macau's only dog-racing track left more than 500 dogs abandoned. Photo: iStock

Macau has taken in more than 500 dogs that were abandoned after the closure of one of Asia’s few legal dog-racing tracks.

The Macau Canidrome, which opened its doors more than 50 years ago, was ordered to close down on July 21 after animal rights groups accused the stadium of maltreating and euthanizing dogs, The Japan Times reported.

According to the Macau government, a total of 533 greyhounds were abandoned in their shuttered premises. Authorities said a dozen of the dogs are suffering from skin diseases and other conditions.

Zoe Tang, shelter manager of Anima, said her animal rights group, which is based in Macau, is seeking to take ownership of the dogs as they fear they would likely end up being sold for their meat in China.

“We are trying to stop them from sending the dogs to the mainland because it is legal to have dog meat there and there is no animal protection in the country,” Tang said.

Animal rights activists have been pushing for the closure of the Macau greyhound racing track for years, and its departure from the scene makes Lam Son Stadium in Vung Tau in Vietnam one of the very few remaining dog-racing tracks in Asia.