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Dog Eating in the Philippines

Story ID:9863
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various Philippines
Person:Dr. Andrew Rowan.
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In the 80’s I received a flyer from In Defense of Animals. It showed an innocent
dog hanging in someone’s backyard in Korea. While still alive, he or she endured
further cruelty and trauma as their innocent hanging body was absorbing blows
from a club to make the ‘meat’ more tender. Needless to say, I lost a lot of respect
for Korea. The very least they could have done is administer the blows after
the dog was dead.

Well, I learned that it or something like it was happening recently in Yulin, China
where they have a yearly feast of dogs and cats. I’m not sure if the horrible picture
of a dog in a boiling vat of water I received was taking place there or not, but it
is evident that China has way too many cruel practices like this.

When the Beijing Olympics were being held, I refused to participate in viewing
them on TV after I learned that the Chinese government was allowing the skinning
of live raccoon dogs for their fur. I am sorry that many more people did not join me
in my boycott. It would have sent a message that we don’t subscribe to this type
of cruelty. Well, obviously, we don’t much care either.

As for the Philippines, a supposedly Christian country, I was shocked to find out
some years ago that they also indulge in dog eating. And today, I received some
literature from HSI that the practice is still alive and well. Where are the priests
and Bishops re this cruelty, or is this not considered sinful to abuse and mistreat
an animal? Or do they consider dogs a food animal? Even if they do, there is
way too much cruelty involved with these poor dogs as to not be concerned.

Dr. Andrew Rowan, President of the Humane Society International-US (HSI) wrote this
to us in his letter:
“In the Philippines, men on motorbikes routinely steal companion dogs or round
up stray dogs, throw them into sidecars, and take them to a warehouse. Then,
under the cover of darkness, the dogs are often transferred to slaughter facilities
in Benguet Province, about 200 miles north of Manila. “

How frightening to imagine that if you lived there, your best friend might be snatched
and end up on someone’s dinner plate - but not before being cruelly treated. Before
they are slaughtered, they endure horrendous treatment by their abductors who
sometimes force tin cans over their muzzles and tie their front legs behind their backs.
Then they are packed in a cage barely able to breathe. And these miserable conditions
may last for days until they are slaughtered with a knife to their throats.

Sadly, this image is not new to me either. Also in the 80’s I received pictures from
Brian Davies of the International Fund for Animals where his flyer pictured these
unfortunate dogs in cages in a sweltering hot market place – their muzzles covered
with a can – unable to move because their back legs were tied. Hell on earth for
these poor dogs. Someone once wrote that if an animal could draw us a picture
of their “devil” – it would be the picture of a man.

Even though the sale of dog meat is illegal, there is still a demand for dog meat
in places like Baguilo City and the surrounding areas of Benguet Province. Sellers
are aware of this but are secretive and deceitful. If an investigator asks a vendor
re the dog meat he is selling - he invariably will tell the investigator that it is goat

Dr. Rowan hopes that with the help of local police and animal groups they will
be able to enforce the Anti-Rabies Law passed in 2007. Hopefully, this law will
not only protect the Philippine public from rabies transmission which can occur
through contact with rabid dogs in the dog meat trade, but hopefully it will save
dogs from this gruesome industry once and for all in the Philippines.

Not only has the HSI been actively working in the Philippines re this dog-eating
cruelty, but they have expanded their efforts to halt the trade across Asia. Dr.
Rowan reported: “Tens of thousands of dogs have been smuggled out of
Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia to Vietnam. More than 500,000 dogs have been
illegally traded in the Philippines, and millions have been legally sold in China,
were dog meat is promoted as winter food that “warms the body.”

Made in China is becoming more unsavory for me day by day. Let’s buy American.
We are no paragons of perfection when it comes to animal concerns, but at least
we score somewhat better in this regard than these countries. But of course, as
long as we support the CAFOs from hell, we are also showing our lack of concern
for our suffering farm animals.

Involved with so much dog cruelty it is natural that the rescuers of HSI celebrate
in any and all victories scored against the dog meat trade. Recently, they were able
to assist in the rescue of 480 dogs bound for northeast China's dog meat markets.
You can imagine too how happy these poor dogs were to being rescued after being
crammed into a four-layered deck on a truck. Many were exhausted and ill, but now
they were given food, water, and medical attention. God bless the work of these
wonderful people at HSI. May they continue to save as many dogs as possible until
hopefully one day this cruelty will be no more.

And if you want to help a worthwhile animal rights organization, please consider this
one--Humane Society International –US