Regrettably, the illegal dog meat trade here in the Philippines continues to thrive with nearly 300,000 canines butchered each year, according to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police.
Westerners may deem it a revolting and bizarre choice of edible meat, but Asians, including some Filipinos, consider eating dog meat an exotic gastronomic delight. In fact, this was exactly what infuriated Howard Stern and made him dread the Filipinos when he was sued in California for defamatory remarks he made about the Filipinos’ penchant for eating dogs.
The trade in dog meat has been illegal in the Philippines since 1998 under the Animal Welfare Act, which states that no animals other than cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits, carabaos, horses, deer and crocodiles may be killed for food, unless part of a religious ritual or when the animal is considered dangerous, or to control its population.
Violators face imprisonment of six months to two years, or a fine of not less than P1,000.
Recently, authorities raided and shut down an illegal butcher shop in Barangay Bonifacio in Pangasinan and arrested two men caught dressing out three other dogs they had just slaughtered. Law enforcers saved two dogs that were found bound inside a cage.
However, figures from Linis GobyernoInc., a non-governmental watchdog group, are not encouraging. It cites the dog meat trade as a flourishing local industry with some 290,000 canines estimated to be slaughtered each year for food.
Linis Gobyerno estimates that the dog meat industry is worth P174 million a year, and enjoys the “support and patronage of local officials,” making it difficult for law enforcers to arrest violators.
“In Baguio City and La Trinidad, Benguet, alone, there are around 60 restaurants, eateries and canteens serving dog meat. These are located all over the city, including the central business district, and are being patronized by no less than the local politicians, heads of government offices, policemen, and even professionals,” it said.
Nonetheless, continued warnings by the authorities stress the risks of getting infected with rabies and other diseases when consuming dog meat.
Source: Inquirer LifeStyle
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