Save Dogs from the DOG MEAT Trade

Dog meat eating has existed as a long-standing cultural phenomenon in the Northern provinces of the Philippines. Historically, this ritual practice accounted for a relatively small number of animals. However, over the past 25 years, dog meat eating has rapidly proliferated for commercial rather than cultural reasons. Today, despite a national law banning dog meat eating, a multitude of restaurants exist exclusively to sell dog meat, and current estimates indicate up to half a million dogs are slaughtered and consumed commercially every year in the Philippines. Lack of enforcement and minimal penalties for convicted dog meat traders allow this cruel industry to thrive. Call on the government of the Philippines to institute stronger laws and enforcement so that this cruel and illegal practice can be eliminated once and for all.
What can you do?

OUR GOAL is to obtain OVER 50,000 signatures by JULY 31, 2007. It is obvious that the only way we can ensure that dogs in the Philippines are protected is to place the Philippine government under the international spotlight.

A Brief History of the Dog Meat Trade

Traditionally, dogs were sacrificed and their meat eaten when a family was faced with bad luck, or when a death was witnessed. It was the belief that a dog's spirit protected and guarded the spirits of the living family. However, this was an infrequent practice. Greed and corruption has evolved the ritual into a massacre of over 500,000 dogs a year in the Philippines as a commercial industry. Although most Filipinos detest the practice and do not eat dog meat, it is still concentrated in areas in and around Baguio City and the Cordilleras Region.

What is the current law?

The Philippines' Animal Welfare Act of 1998 (Section 8 of the Republic Act No. 8485) prohibits the torture of all animals with the exception of livestock. In addition, it does provide an exception to killing for religious purposes. Unfortunately, the Act fails for three reasons: (1) there is no direct prohibition against the commercial dog meat trade; (2) the penalties are minimal; and (3) there is a lack of enforcement due to corruption and bribery of police officers.

The cost of a trader to keep his business of slaughtering dogs for profit:

-Traders plead guilty and pay a fine of not less than One thousand pesos (P1,000 = $20.35) nor more that Five thousand pesos (P5,000 =$100.00).

-It pays for Traders to pay a penalty because it's actually less than bribing a police officer.

-It is a $3.8 million dollar industry and the payment of a penalty is small cost of doing business.

What needs to change?

Because this barbaric commercial industry provides a steady flow of income not only to the traders but to officials and police officers, the dog meat trade remains unscathed from the Welfare Act. The penalty must be upgraded. Call on the government of the Philippines to institute stronger laws and enforcement so that this cruel and illegal practice can be eliminated once and for all.

References:

http://www.congress.gov.ph/bis/qry_show.php Animal Welfare Act: http://www.dogmeattrade.com/library_articles/philippine_act.html

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