Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Battle Cry Against Dog Meat Trade!

Thanks to Rachel for a great influence about this so long struggle of battle against dog meat trade...the main enemy of the man's best friend, the dogs.

I am a dog lover. I don't know why dogs always warm my heart everytime I see them. Ever since I was small, I had that trait, and I remembered my mother telling me: "You're probably be a good vet someday."

Dog meat trade has been so popular and widely practiced in the Philippines, particularly on the northern part. I was a witness to that, I grew up in one of the northern provinces. Those were the days when I was still small and innocent, being always hurt seeing dogs slaughtered and eaten! Yes...and I was forced to eat dog meat, at a very young age too! What can a small and a frail child do to stop it but to utter a small voice of plea saying "please don't", and would ignore and give her a big laugh. I still see those adult males doing it and it was horrible!

I am giving you a brief summary courtesy of care2petitionsite.

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. However, House Bill 2991 is currently pending in the Committee on Revision of Laws that provides a stiffer penalty to dog meat traders. Introduced by Representative Francis Escudero, the creation of the bill was based on the need to upgrade an Act that, as noble as the objectives of the law are, the traders remain elusive because the penalty is unrealistic. The penalty must be upgraded.


What can you do?

OUR GOAL is to obtain OVER 50,000 signatures by June 30, 2007. The Bill is expected to be addressed by Congress in July 2007. It is obvious that the only way we can ensure that dogs in the Philippines are protected is to place the Philippines government under the international spotlight.


Status of House Bill 2991: http://www.congress.gov.ph/bis/qry_show.phpAnimal Welfare Act: http://www.dogmeattrade.com/library_articles/philippine_act.html

We are circulating a petition link just to make it to its goal of 50,ooo petitioners til July 2007. We need your signatures just to make its way to the Philippine Congress and the House of Representatives before July 2007. Pls. sign your petition HERE.

It would be a great help for us, more importantly for the dogs.

We are saying our big thank you's for each petition. It means your petition will save one dog too!

May our prayers be granted, and God be with us always.