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September 19, 2007

HSI Investigation Exposes Illegal Philippine Dog Meat Industry

Findings spur launch of HSI campaign to end dog meat trade

Humane Society International

WASHINGTON – An in-depth investigation conducted by Humane Society International, the global arm of The Humane Society of the United States, expedited a new Philippine law that dramatically increases penalties for commercial dog meat traders. Today, the HSUS and HSI applauded the Philippines government for its efforts to utilize this law and eradicate the dog meat industry. But further action is needed, and quickly, to end this cruel and dangerous trade.

So, HSI has launched a campaign urging supporters to help wipe out the Philippine dog meat industry for good. Supporters are asked to view exclusive video footage taken during the undercover investigation that depicts the horrors of the dog meat trade. Those wishing to take action are encouraged to ask Philippines government officials to increase funding and training for enforcement of the new law.

"Officials in the Philippines must realize the outrage that this illegal trade incites in people all over the world. The treatment of these dogs is unimaginably horrific and inhumane. In all my years with HSI, this is one of the most disturbing cases that I have dealt with," said Kelly O'Meara, Director of International Programs with HSI. "The Philippine government needs to make enforcement of this new law a high priority."

The law in question, known as the Anti-Rabies Act, increases penalties from a paltry $19 fine for trading in dog meat to $100 per dog and a one-year to four-year jail sentence. The law took effect after HSI paid to expedite public notice and allow speedy enforcement.

A majority of Filipinos reject the consumption of dog meat, which was banned nationwide in 1998. Yet the trade survived in a small region in the north of the country due to weak penalties and lax enforcement.

Current estimates indicate up to 500,000 dogs are slaughtered and consumed commercially every year in the Philippines. These animals, including family pets, are rounded up in the streets, bound and transported by the truck-load to slaughterhouses. On average, 40-50 percent of the dogs die from suffocation and overheating en route to slaughter. At the slaughterhouses, dogs are clubbed or have their throats cut while fully conscious.

The HSUS and HSI have actively fought against the dog meat trade for years. HSI sponsored a symposium of international groups last year to address the commercial dog meat issue and to explore ways to strengthen regulations against it. To find out more about the campaign to end the Philippine dog meat trade please visit hsi.org/dogmeat.  

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Humane Society International is the international arm of The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization – backed by 10 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- On the web at hsi.org.

 

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