Join the campaign against horse fighting

Mar 3, 2008

A healthy horse

WSPA Asia is supporting Network for Animals’ campaign against horse fighting by writing to the Philippine Bureau of Animal Welfare. Our letter protests the failure to enforce laws preventing these horrifically cruel events.

The horses used in the fights – some of which are televised – are goaded into uncharacteristic aggression, forced into close proximity in an arena and taunted with the scent of a young mare nearby.

Crowds of adults and children will watch the ensuing bloody contest, betting on the outcomes.

We are asking you to stand out from the crowd: please let the government of the Philippines know you will not consider tourism on the island of Mindanao until horse fighting is stopped.

A sickening scene

The injuries horses sustain from kicking and biting each other are horrifying and often fatal. They are described in detail and pictured in an article from the Daily Mail newspaper (UK), which also lists exhaustion as a cause of death in the ring.

The paper reports that badly wounded animals – for which no veterinary care is provided – are often inhumanely slaughtered and cooked for the crowd. 

The distressing article is verified by Network for Animals, who have brought this issue to the world’s attention with their campaign.

Failure of authorities

This kind of abuse is prohibited in the Philippines, but the law is not enforced. Some fights even appear to have official sanction, with local authorities offering prize money.

This is particularly disappointing from a country that has supported the progress of a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare.

One explanation suggested for this failing is that the fights are largely organised by crime syndicates who profit from the gambling involved.

It has to stop

WSPA is supporting Network for Animals and condemning this blood sport by writing to the Director of the Bureau of Animal Welfare.

You can register your protest to this horrific cruelty too. Please write to embassy of the Philippines in your country, explaining that:

  • You believe horse fighting and the inhumane slaughter of horses is cruel and therefore unacceptable.

  • You are disappointed that the Philippines’ animal welfare legislation is not being upheld, allowing these illegal fights to continue.

  • You will not consider visiting the island of Mindanao or encouraging others to do so until the laws preventing horse fighting are fully enforced.

  • You would like to know what the government of the Philippines intends to do to address this issue.

The Philippines’ embassies around the world >>

Read more about Network for Animals >>

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