At the present time, there are two bills making their way through the House and Senate namely, Bill 5291 and Bill 5648. Both bills seek to establish Greyhound racing in Cebu and Luzon respectively. Their proponents tout Greyhound racing as an economic stimulus providing jobs and raising the standard of living in the immediate areas. But, historically, the opposite is true. Moral decay, crime, and hideous animal cruelty have been the norm. If both bills become law, the only beneficiaries will be the Fox New Millemium Amusement Club Inc. (FNMACI, Bill 5291) and the Southeast Asia Greyhound Racing Club Inc. (SAGRC, Bill 5648).
Thirty-six of the fifty American states prohibit Greyhound racing, and more tracks are folding across the country. Profit and attendance are down. People are simply no longer interested in Greyhound racing, a direct result of failed economic promises and the exposure of horrendous animal cruelty practiced in the business. Guam, just recently, ended their dog racing practice. New Hampshire closed down their tracks for good last month. One might ask, why is there an attempt to embrace something that others are hurriedly rejecting? Filipinos deserve better. The Philippines need not be the trash bin of the world.
Surely, the time and initiave of some legislators were wasted on these bills. Their ingenuity could bear better fruit if applied on more pressing matters like the establishment of a government-funded spay and neutering program. There are an estimated 3.2 million stray animals in the Philippines. Just look out your window if you're in the Philippines.
Here are twelve specific reasons, practical and humane, why these bills must not become law:
1. Behind all the sugarcoating and fanfare, what you have is not entertainment or a path to great wealth. What you have is simply another form of gambling. There is already the lottery, sakla, masiao, sabong, dog fighting, horse fighting, horse racing, and other street corner games. Filipinos need Greyhound racing like they need a hole in their head. Enough is enough.
2. What we have learned from the American experience is that people who bet on dog races are mostly the people who cannot afford to lose their money (those who collect and live on their social security and pension). The Filipino rough equivalent would be the laborers, low level office workers, street vendors, etc. The poor will get poorer.
3. Greyhound racing brings down real estate values. Race tracks are located in relatively depressed areas, and the upper classes who reside in upscale communities will never allow a race track in their neighborhoods. Race tracks will ultimately become eye sores.
4. Owners inflate the number of jobs filled at the race track (The Wall Street Journal). This gives the semblance that Greyhound racing equals progress. In truth, people avoid jobs at the tracks because of their inherent hostility and cruelty to animals.
5. Owners and trainers are not doing the Greyhounds a favor. Greyhounds are not naturally predisposed to racing. They have to be taught and trained how to race. They do not love to race, contrary to what the industry will tell you.
6. Hundreds or thousands of dead dogs will be a health hazard. The Hampton Union reported in September 1996 that " hundreds of dead greyhounds reportedly buried in the 1970s across from the Seabrook, New Hampshire dog track were speculated to be the cause of E. Coli bacterial contamination recently discovered in the town's water supply. " Two wells were permanently closed.
7. Doping is an alleged practice in Greyhound racing, but there are many cases that prove it. Dogs are routinely drugged to improve their performance. Doping includes cocaine. Drug use at the tracks can easily lead to drug use in the community.
8. Serious injuries to animals are the norm. At the Dairyland Greyhound Park in Wisconsin alone, 462 dogs broke their legs in 2007. Greyhound racing injuries include cardiac arrest, spinal cord paralysis, crushed skulls, and broken necks. Many dogs die on the track.
9. In Massachusetts, a race dog is injured every every three to four days.
10. Dog racing entrepreneurs claim that their dogs' best interests are in their heart. However, in reality, dogs that generally stand thirty inches high are kept in crates that measure a mere 32 in. X 41 in X 34 in. And they live in it for 22 hours out of the 24. And these crates, with the dogs in them, are stacked like they were boxes in a warehouse. The dogs are fed inedible beef. This is hardly the best for the dogs.
11. Let us be upfront about it. The disposal of retired dogs, slow dogs, sick and injured dogs will consequently turn to the dog meat trade. Can you truly expect profit-driven business people to spend money on expensive euthanasia when dealing with thousands of unwanted dogs? An estimated 20,000 dogs are killed yearly.
12. The practices of Greyhound racing will almost always run afoul of the provisions of the Philippine Animal Welfare Act of 1998 (RA 8485) and the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007 ( RA 9482 ). These two laws form the foundation for a more humane Filipino society. Greyhound racing will constitute a blight on the growth of animal welfare in the Philippines at a time when the country leads Asia in that respect. China and Vietnam do not have a single animal welfare law.
There is the high road and there is the superhighway to perdition. The Philippines is at that enviable point where it can still avoid the plunge into the abyss. These bills have brought the nation to the edge of the precipice from where the raging flames of hell are visible. Fortunately, we do not have to take the leap.
Join the effort to engender a more humane and responsible Filipino society. You need not be a Filipino to be a signatory. Compassion, love of animals, responsibility knows no boundaries. If you agree with the spirit and purpose of this petition, please sign it. Philippine congress will be debating the bills approximately by the end of July 2009. We'll tell them what we think. Vote NO.
I want 1,000 signatures FAST. Thank You in behalf of all the animals.
UPDATE: July 16 2009 As of today, due to the lobbying of animal welfare organizations, there are seven senators who have pledged to resist and vote NO on Bill 5291 which will be debated in congress at the end of this month. God Bless. They are:
UPDATE : July 17 2009 I strongly urge the signers to send in their very own message to the Filipino senators. The more people they hear from, the better. Please be polite. You can copy and paste the entire list that you see here:
"Sen. Ping Lacson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Sen. Lito Lapid" <email@example.com>, "Sen. Loren Legarda" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Sen. Jamby Madrigal" <email@example.com>, "Sen. Kiko Pangilinan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Sen. Bong Revilla" <email@example.com>, "Sen. Mar Roxas" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Sen. Antonio Trillanes" <email@example.com>, "Sen. Manny Villar" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile" <email@example.com>, "Sen. Jinggoy Estrada" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri" <email@example.com>, "Sen. Aquilino PiMentel Jr." <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, "Sen. Pia Cayetano" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago" <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, "Sen. Chiz Escudero" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Sen. Dick Gordon" <email@example.com>, "Sen. Gringo Honasan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Sen. Ed Angara" <email@example.com>, "Sen. Noynoy Aquino" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, "Sen. Joker Arroyo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Sen. Rodolfo Biazon" <email@example.com>, "Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&q=cache%3ArP3SZWsvoyUJ%3Awww.congress.gov.ph%2Fdownload%2Fbilltext_14%2Fhbt05291.pdf greyhound racing philippines&hl=en&gl=us&pli=1
UPDATE : July 23 2009 Info on who really is behind greyhound racing in the Philippines:
UPDATE : July 23 2009 I sent this petition to all members of the Philippine senate with an accompanying cover letter urging them to read through your comments and to take seriously the opinion of hundreds of people opposed the greyhound racing in the Philippines. We haven't reached our goal of 1,000 signatures as of this date but I sent it in because the senate could begin deliberations as early as the 27th, Monday. I thank you for your support. We are in solidarity against animal cruelty.
UPDATE: July 30 2009 The Philippine Animal Welfare Society reported that four more senators have pledged to vote against these bills, bringing the total to eleven. We need twelve to defeat the bills. The senators are :
8. Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr.
9. Senator Mar Roxas
10. Senator Alan Peter Cayetano
11. Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III
UPDATE : August 4 2009 Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimental came out with his official statement against greyhound racing in the Philippines. Thank you, Sen. Pimentel :
Ben-hur L. Salimbangon, Representative, 4th District of Cebu, 2007-present.
Nerissa Corazon Soon-Ruiz, Representative, 6th District of Cebu, 1992-1998, 2001-present.
Ferjenel Biron, Representative, 4th District of Iloilo, 2004-present.
UPDATE: Sept. 8, 2009 I am pleased to report that house bills proposing the establishment of greyhound racing in the Philippines are practically dead in the water. The deliberations on HB 5291 ( CEBU) have not occurred and so with its sister bill, HB 5648. They have not been legally voted down by the Senate which to me is better than holding these bills in abeyance, or legal limbo. There is another house bill that beat a retreat after the Senate showed strong resistance against the previous bills mentioned above. Read about it here :http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20090908-224150/House-withholds-OK-from-greyhound-racing
More Information : Please watch the videos.
Greyhound Protection Act
New York Times
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2zlPSAxJ3s (greyhounds U.K.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QfJpbbWyL0 (unwanted greyhounds)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU0HOnrm-dc (death by racing)