Convictions have been obtained against thirteen people involved in the Philippines’ heinous dog meat trade.
Dog meat consumption was criminalised in the country in 1998, but the illicit trade continues, involving barbaric capture, caging, and slaughter of an estimated 100,000 dogs each year.
The UK’s Political Animal Lobby (PAL) says progress has been made in reducing the incidence of dog meat consumption across the country. But the practice is still widespread in certain provinces – and even in Manila some restaurants continue to be supplied by a brutal network which the authorities battle to infiltrate and shut down.
“We’ve been fighting this cause for a long time. The illegal dog meat trade in the Philippines is still horrendous. We work at both ends, trying to trace and save as many dogs as we can, and assist law enforcement agencies to bring these evil traders to justice,” says PAL lead campaigner Andrea Matthee.
Prosecutions can take years to finalise, and convictions are hard-won. Campaigners regularly embark on dangerous missions in which they rescue dogs whilst filming or photographing the conditions and the perpetrators. The evidence is vital for use in court – acknowledged by the prosecution team in last week’s trials.
PAL is committed to pursuing justice, no matter how long it takes. “We want to shut down the trade permanently. It takes painstaking effort, but every dog we save, and every court case we win, is a victory,” says PAL’s Matthee.
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