By Lori Kalef, SPCA International
You may remember PAWS (Philippine Animal Welfare Society) as one of the organizations SPCA International has worked with on several occasions for disaster relief. Did you know that PAWS was also the first animal welfare organization to successfully lobby for an anti-cruelty law in the Philippines? The Animal Welfare Act of 1998 was passed into law to protect animals regulate humane treatment. After this huge victory 14 years ago, they are once again at the forefront of lobbying for amendments to this law. The goal is to increase penalties and prison terms for animal offenders, primarily for those who make a living from the horrendously cruel Dog Meat Trade.
The Dog Meat Trade in the Philippines is not referenced as often as the Thailand trade on popular social media channels. However, it is estimated that half a million dogs and cats in the Philippines are brutally slaughtered after experiencing inhumane transport, abuse, starvation and dehydration. Historically within the Filipino culture, the slaughter and consumption of dogs was associated with ritualistic events during times of mourning and grief; thus affecting a smaller number of animals. Sadly, over the past 25 years, the consumption of dog meat has increased in popularity resulting in a staggering number of dogs being tortured and brutally killed.
PAWS is working hard to put a stop to this horrible and seemingly endless cycle of abuse and slaughter. Thanks to generous SPCA International donor support, we were able to deliver a $4,000 grant to this outstanding organization so that they can continue their work. They work tirelessly to improve humane education in schools and communities, and actively lobby their legislature to eradicate the Dog Meat Trade. Because of organizations like PAWS, the Philippine government has begun to express a greater commitment to animal welfare and Dog Meat Trade regulations.