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January 3, 2013

Illegal Dog Meat Trade Persists in The Philippines

Humane Society International

  • Rescued from doom. Chad Sisneros/HSI

Most Filipinos do not agree with the consumption of dog meat. A growing fondness for man's best friend and an expanding pet-keeping culture have added to the disdain for this practice. But while the dog meat trade has been illegal since the passage of the Animal Welfare Act in 1998, a lack of enforcement has allowed the industry to flourish.

The Anti-Rabies Law of 2007 drastically strengthened the penalties for this crime to up to a year in jail and fines of 5,000 pesos (about $100) per dog, but still the trade continues.

Because it is illegal, there are no government regulations concerning the slaughter of these animals. They are killed in very brutal ways, and many suffer from disease, sickness, exhaustion prior to their death.

The transporters and the slaughterhouses for the dogs are hard to locate, but the meat is openly sold at markets and in restaurants.

What we're doing

Better animal welfare in Asia is on its way, but it will be a gradual improvement. The best way we see to improve the lives of animals in Asia and reduce the suffering of animals there is to support the work of local groups and networks confronting this issue on the ground. We have already seen many changes and will continue to pursue opportunities to assist where we can.

We have joined forces with Network for Animals and local authorities to crack down on the dog meat trade through funding for training to enforce the law, raids on trucks transporting dogs to slaughter, immediate care for confiscated animals, and a public awareness campaign. Rabies is the strongest argument for government attention and resources.

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