years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
Animals Asia continues to monitor the situation in the Philippines with regards the development of greyhound tracks within the country.
A bill to develop a greyhound track was first introduced in July 2009. Through the lobbying work of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and international animal welfare organisations including Animals Asia, this bill was blocked. PAWS gained the support of 12 of the 23 senators to vote against the bill.
In late 2009, a second bill was introduced and Anna Hashim-Cabrera, Program Director for PAWS, tells us that on December 31, 2009 the bill was passed through the Congress (lower house). We now await a date for the bill to be voted upon at the senate level.
Animals Asia believes it is wrong to use any animal for the purposes of public entertainment or sport if the health or welfare of the animal concerned is compromised. We believe the practice of breeding and racing greyhounds is inherently cruel with thousands of dogs being killed each year due to injuries sustained while racing and becoming surplus to the industry’s needs at the end of their racing careers.
PAWS continue to lobby the 23 senators to vote against the bill and Animals Asia has once again contacted all senate members to ask for them to oppose the bill.
What you can do Please send courteous letters to the Philippine embassy in your country to oppose this development. A sample letter is provided below, or write a polite letter of your own and post or fax it to the Philippine Ambassador or Consulate-General in your country.
His Excellency Antonio M Lagdameo
Embassy of the Philippines in the UK
6-8 Suffolk Street
1 February 2010
I am writing on behalf of Animals Asia Foundation, a Hong Kong-headquartered non-government organisation dedicated to improving the lives and welfare of all animals across Asia.
We have close relationships with non-government organisations working in the field of animal welfare in the Philippines. We understand a bill (House Bill 5648) is in progress to grant authority for the development of a greyhound racing track in the Philippines.
This is the second bill to introduce a greyhound racing track into the Philippines. The first, House Bill 5291 was blocked by 12 votes at the Senate in September 2009. The second bill is due to be presented at to the senate in the coming weeks. I am writing to seek your support to block this bill.
In a 2007 UK parliamentary inquiry into welfare issues surrounding greyhound racing in England, it was concluded that the racing industry produces a surplus of 13,478 dogs in England and Wales per year. Of these, a minimum of 4,728 dogs are unaccounted for and the inquiry assumes they are destroyed. This figure is recognised as a significant underestimation of the true scale of the problem. In addition, a further 2,478 British-bred greyhound pups never make it to the greyhound track and are completely unaccounted for. (1)
Greyhound welfare experts estimate that 1,500 greyhounds in the UK endure injuries every year on racetracks, with many such injuries leading to the dogs being destroyed. It is estimated that 10 per cent of all racing dogs suffer with injured toes, torn muscles and strained tendons, which can lead to arthritic joints, causing ongoing pain. They are forced into early retirement by racing at badly-designed tracks with tight corners that are difficult to negotiate and by owners forcing dogs to run when injured, or in bad weather.
Becky Blackmore, RSPCA UK greyhound expert, said: "There are systemic welfare failures in the racing greyhound industry… dogs are being chewed up and spat out of an industry which ultimately treats greyhounds as disposable commodities, rather than sentient animals for which it is responsible."
The greyhound racing industry has been in decline for many years especially in the USA, where the industry has had massive financial losses.
Commercial dog-racing is illegal in 35 US states. In six other US states, all dog tracks have closed, but no prohibition has passed into law. For further information please see http://grey2kusa.org/action/state.html
Even in the UK and Ireland, attendances are falling and stadiums are closing. Greyhound racing has become widely condemned in the UK as a result of the constant exposure in the media of the cruelty and deaths suffered by greyhounds in the racing industry.
In support of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), I urge you to contact your government and oppose this bill.