Breaking news out of the Philippines this morning after initial reports reveal that 72 dogs believed to be headed for the underground dog meat trade were discovered at the gruesome scene of a vehicular accident. The driver managed to escape before police arrived.
According to Supt. Norman Ranon, Imus City police chief as reported to the inquirer.net, the truck was intercepted after it hit another vehicle at 12:30 a.m. in Barangay Anabu 2D along Aguinaldo Highway in Imus City, the capital city of the Philippine province of Cavite.
Horrifically, the animals appeared to have been slaughtered last night, Ranon explained to the news outlet in a phone interview, “since the meat still looked fresh.”
The dogs’ bodies have since been released to the city veterinary office for proper disposal.
Police are actively trying to locate the source of the dog meat that was being transported by a pick-up truck with a license plate RFG 527. Although authorities determined through the plate that the truck was registered in Baler town in Aurora province, they also uncovered another plate inside the vehicle, ZGM 395, which was registered in La Trinidad town in Benguet province.
Imus Mayor Emmanuel Maliksi said, “the local government would ensure that the perpetrators behind the illegal trade would be held liable.”
As per the Philippine Animal Welfare Society’s amended Republic Act No. 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act of 1998, the trading of dog meat is illegal.
Sadly though, more amendments are apparently needed as the law still stipulates that “no animals other than cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits, carabao, horse, deer, and crocodiles may be killed for food unless it is done as part of a religious ritual.”
Animal Welfare International notes on its website that hundreds of thousands of dogs are slaughtered for their meat each year in the Philippines.
Stray dogs along with people’s pets still wearing collars are regularly taken and transported hours away to the Benguet province in extremely inhumane conditions which include no food or water.
Due to the extraordinarily stressful transportation methods, in which innocent dogs are often bound with their legs tied behind their backs and steel cans forced onto their noses, it is estimated that more than half of the animals die prior to reaching their destination.
Unfathomably, the organization points out, dog meat traders are not concerned with mortality rates because the dead animals are processed along with the live ones. “Behind closed doors,” it states on its website, “dogs are clubbed, their throats are cut, their fur is scorched off with a blow-torch, and their bodies are dismembered.”
How these barbaric and inhumane practices still occur anywhere in the world is beyond belief.
Let this serve as another stark reminder that the despicable dog meat trade takes innocent victims year-round, not only during so-called special occasions such as the Yulin Dog Meat Festival.
It is up to all of us, everywhere, to take an ongoing stand against the dog meat trade, to be the voice of the voiceless and to support organizations such as Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, a Peace 4 Animals and WAN friend and grantee, which works diligently every day to end this cruel practice from happening anywhere in the world.
Donations can be made to Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation so that founder Marc Ching and his team can continue their important life-saving work, Here!
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