News From the Philippines’ Dog Meat Trade

Thanks to the SunStar Baguio for this news. Dog meat trade in Baguio, Benguet earns P55M annually: crusader By Jane Cadalig THE Cordillerans' predilection for...

Thanks to the SunStar Baguio for this news.

Dog meat trade in Baguio, Benguet earns P55M annually: crusader
By Jane Cadalig

THE Cordillerans’ predilection for dog meat is making dog traders from the southern region richer by at least P55 million a year, an animal welfare advocate said.

Melchor Alipio, a representative of the Network for Animals (NA)–an association of groups advocating for animal welfare, said the consumption of dog meat in Baguio and Benguet contributes huge amount to dog traders from the lowland provinces.

The P55-million monetary contribution speaks for Baguio and Benguet alone, which consumes about 350 to 400 dogs daily, he added.

Dog meat consumption in other regions like Ilocos and Cagayan is estimated at 300 and 200 per day, respectively, and the monetary value is not far from that of Baguio and Benguet, said Alipio.

Dr. Jose Diaz of the Manila Veterinary Inspection Board (MVIB) said the southern provinces deliver about 1,000 dogs to Northern Luzon on a daily basis as per the record of dog shipment seizures.

Most of the dogs delivered to the Cordillera and other provinces in the north come from Laguna, Batangas, Lucena, Quezon Province and Bicol.

Restaurant owners in Baguio and Benguet buy dog meat at P75 per kilo while slaughterhouses buy these at P55, said Brando Gegway, Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF) senior researcher for Northern Luzon.

The continued consumption of dog meat in the region once earned the ire of various animal welfare advocates from around the world who then called on the government to stop the trade.

Concerned agencies have pushed for stricter implementation of Republic Act (RA) 8485 or the Animal Welfare Law, which penalizes the slaughtering of dogs except those that are used in indigenous rituals.

But even with series of apprehensions done on dog traders, business remains unstopped, which Alipio credits to the public’s continued consumption of dog meat.

He said restaurants offering dog meat exist because there are consumers.

Animal welfare groups and medical practitioners have joined the government in warning the public against eating dog meat, saying this poses hazards to health.

Diaz said there are about 100 diseases found in dogs that could be transferred to humans upon consumption.

In La Trinidad, the Benguet State University (BSU) also joined the effort in promoting the welfare of animals.

A dog pound, funded by NA, is set to be constructed at the BSU College of Veterinary Medicine, which would serve as a shelter for stray dogs as well as those that are rescued from traders.

School officials said this is the university’s humble way of showing support to efforts done by various sectors in promoting animal rights.

The proposed dog pound at BSU would be the first of its kind in the region.

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