LONDON, December 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
With the advent of the Christmas season, Network for Animals (NFA) has stepped up its enforcement activity against the Philippines dog meat trade in order to combat the increase in demand for dog meat at this time of year.
In the early hours of 5th December, in cooperation with local authorities, a dog meat slaughterhouse in Malaisiqui, Panagasinan was raided to mark the start of a three-week campaign to crack down on the illegal trade in dog meat. Seven men were arrested, 22 live dogs rescued and 49 dog carcasses confiscated during the raid.
Describing the raid, Network for Animals campaigner Mel Alipio said, "All seven knife-wielding slaughterhouse workers immediately attempted to attack us, but a shot fired overhead persuaded them to back down and they were arrested…It was dramatic and heartbreaking to see the horror of the slaughterhouse. We will do our best to find loving homes for the dogs suitable for rehoming."
The trade in dog meat was banned nationwide in the Philippines in 1998 via the Animal Welfare Act. In 2008, this legislation was bolstered by the passage of the Rabies Act, which upgraded penalties for convicted dog meat traders to include jail time and substantially increased fines as a means of limiting the spread of rabies. Despite strong laws, lack of enforcement has allowed the commercial dog meat trade to proliferate, with hundreds of thousands of dogs slaughtered every year.
Cruelty is endemic in all stages of the dog meat industry. Captured dogs, many of them stolen pets, have their muzzles bound with nylon string and their front legs forced behind their backs and tied. Dogs are left in this condition, sometimes for days, in extreme heat without food or water. During transport, approximately 100 dogs will be forced into a cage the size of a double door fridge. Overcrowding is so severe that up to 90% of the dogs can suffocate before reaching backyard slaughterhouses, where the survivors have their throats cut while conscious.
The dog meat trade also poses a threat to rabies eradication in the Philippines where an estimated 10,000 dogs and 350 humans die of rabies every year. International rabies experts recognize that the movement of dogs of unknown disease and vaccination status is in opposition to rabies control, and that the slaughtering and butchery of rabies-infected dogs poses a risk to human health.
NFA has campaigned for several years on the dog meat issue in an effort to create strong legislation in the Philippines that is effectively enforced. In 2010, 250 MPs signed an EDM calling for action on the dog meat trade in the Philippines and the UK embassy in the Philippines has written to President Aquino on the matter. An image of the dogs captured can be seen at http://www.networkforanimals.org/blog/field-report-dog-seizure-in-malasiqui
SOURCE Network for Animals