Philippines' Animal Welfare Foundation Makes Appeal to Stop Eating Dog Meat
More power to our fellow dog lovers at the Animal Welfare Foundation and across the Philippines!
Before reading further into this post please be aware that this information is very upsetting.
Please, no dog meat on the table
By Jerry Botial
The Philippine Star
A coalition of animal welfare groups made a passionate plea urging people to keep dog meat off the dinner table, even during the holidays.
"Not on Christmas. Not on New Year. Not ever," said members of the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF).
The group also stressed that there is a law against eating dog meat under the Animal Welfare Act (Republic Act 8485), with penalties for doing so.
"The law should be enforced. People just close their eyes. Theyd rather eat the dogs but its illegal," said Nancy Cu Unjieng, an advocate of animal rights.
"We need to focus, tell the people there is such a law. People can make arrests and be arrested. People have to be aware now. Weve got to teach the children," she said.
With wine and spirits overflowing during the holidays, some unlucky canines end up as part of the delicacies on the table, mostly in the provinces effectively making up part of the half a million dogs slaughtered every year in the country.
Cu Unjieng, who takes care of 87 cats in her home, lamented that the animal rights law has not been implemented to the fullest.
She said there are loopholes in the law but stressed they are currently working on improvements.
"The government is lax (and) has not moved really. There is no funding, no (adequate) personnel, no interest," Cu Unjieng said.
"There seems to be only one way the animals can get it and that is by the non-government organizations moving. We dont mean to antagonize the government because they can really help in this crusade. But if the government cant do it, we will," she said.
"It is a barbaric, insidious industry pandemic in the Philippines," said the message posted on the website www.dogmeattrade.com.
Animal right advocates made the renewed call following the arrest of two suspected poachers in Malabon last month.
The group commended the Malabon police for throwing the book against suspects Israel de Rama and Alvin Lumanog, who were charged for violating RA 8485, facing the prospect of being jailed to two years for peddling askals, Filipino slang for asong kalye or stray dogs.
PO3 Rommel Habig of the Malabon police said they are aware of the provisions of the law that penalizes eating dog meat.
Habig explained that the Animal Welfare Act punishes offenders with imprisonment of not less than six months or more than two years or a fine of not less than P1,000 nor more than P5,000 or both at the discretion of the court.
Habig said they were able to rescue several stray dogs from the suspects. Some of the animals were gagged and their legs tied.
A Briton who identified himself as John managed to get one stray dog and named the dog "Sake," as in the popular Japanese rice wine.
Sake now lives with two other canine pets in Johns home inside a five-hectare animal shelter in La Union.
John also saved 69 other canines "snatched from the jaws of death" from the city pound of Manila.
The Briton maintains an animal shelter in Boracay and plans to put up another in Palawan.
John also bared his plans to put up an animal welfare center in Metro Manila soon.