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No To Greyhound Racing in the Philippines!

Posted by siyerwin on Friday, July 17, 2009 at 10:33 PM

Some weeks ago I received some really disturbing news that a bunch Philippine congressmen and a senator are working to pass a law that will allow Greyhound racing operation here in the Philippines. PAWS and PETA immediately released statements opposing this very alarming move by some of our lawmakers. This blog post of mine is actually very late as the campaign against this has been actively going for weeks at the PAWS yahoogroup and elsewhere (PeTA, Animals Asia, etc).

Call to Action!!!---> Email our Lawmakers | Sign Online Petition


I'm not really sure if other bloggers have followed cue and joined this campaign but I do hope many of us who truly care for animals speak about this and the cruelty it will bring with it if bills get passed.

Why should you be against Greyhound racing?

Because it encourages inhumane and cruel treatment of dogs. Legalizing Greyhound racing will put puppy mills on overdrive and will result in over-breeding in their quest to "produce" the best Greyhounds. Those judged to be unworthy of racing will be discarded and will probably end up in the streets to add to the problem of homeless and stray dogs out there.

Below are the contents of PAWS' position paper which it sent to the Philippine Senate and Congress. I will tell you what you can do to help out so please don't stop reading until the end of this post. This is truly an urgent matter and we need your help:

------------PAWS Position Paper Start------------

Republic of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines
SENATE
Pasay, Manila
In Re: House Bill No. 5291
Entitled “An Act Granting The Fox New Millennium Amusement Club Inc. (FNMACI)
A Franchise to Construct, Operate and maintain Greyhound Racetrack in Any Place
Within the City of Mandaue, Province of Cebu”
x---------------------------------------------------x

THE PHILIPPINE ANIMAL WELFARE SOCIETY (PAWS)’S POSITION PAPER/OPPOSITION TO GREYHOUND RACING

The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (hereinafter, “PAWS”), through undersigned PAWS Program Director, Anna Hashim-Cabrera, respectfully submits this Position Paper/Opposition to House Bill No. 5291 proposed by House Representatives Salimbangon, Soon-Ruiz and Biron per Committee Report No. 1393, based on the following grounds:

GREYHOUND RACING IS CRUEL: IT WILL LEAD TO MASSIVE GREYHOUND BREEDING AND KILLINGS


The new industry of greyhound racing will trigger the breeding of hundreds of greyhounds, more than it can place at race tracks. Racing afficionados will be motivated to produce “winning” dogs and will end up overbreeding them. This is an inevitable scenario as can be shown in euthanasia statistics in countries which already have greyhound racing.

In the United States, approximately 20,000 surplus greyhounds are destroyed each year because they have been deemed unfit to race and because there are not enough homes for the retired dogs.

To illustrate just how many retired dogs that the Philippines would be dealing with, consider this: A greyhound’s racing career is usually over at 3.5 to 4 years of age, and yet, its life expectancy is about 13 years old.

Add this to the Philippine scenario where there is already an alarming rate of homeless dogs due to unregulated breeding of purebred dogs, and the lack of government-funded spay-neuter programs to prevent overpopulation of the “native” dogs or regular “aspins” (“Asong Pinoys”, formerly called “askals” ), House Bill 5291 will exponentially increase the current dog population of an estimated 9.6MM.
At present, one-third of this estimated dog population (3.2MM) are strays or homeless. Each barangay or city is already grappling with problems of how to “get rid” of unclaimed impounded dogs.

PAWS has been receiving dozens of reports from concerned citizens in cities and municipalities who have resorted to poisoning, drowning gassing or simply selling off the dogs to the illegal dog meat trade because do not how to humanely dispose of them. Many have no budgets for the purchase of barbiturates for the proper euthanasia of these unwanted animals.

With less than five (5) BAI-accredited non-government-funded animal shelters all over the Philippines, the PAWS Animal Shelter among them, the country needs to put some serious thought into the effective prevention of pet overpopulation or surplus animals. Currently, without the Greyhound Racing Industry, we already have a problem that is not being addressed – unregulated breeding of purebred dogs and non-availability and non-affordability of spay-neuter surgeries which will prevent every pet dog of each Filipino family from producing at least three (3) puppies per year.

With the greyhound racing factored in, greyhounds will be bred excessively leading to more unwanted or un-“rehomeable” dogs who will be victims of cruelty, neglect and not even afforded the proper euthanasia by cities or by the government agencies which will later on be collecting them for ‘disposal’.

GREYHOUND RACING CANNOT BE OPERATED IN A HUMANE MANNER

The reason why the greyhound racing industry is inherently cruel is because it treats dogs as commodities. It is a form of gaming in which the amount of money a dog generates determines his or her expendability.

As a result, the following cruelties have been commonly observed in racing greyhounds’ kennels or facilities in developed countries – those with strict animal
welfare laws like the United States:

• Greyhounds are kept at track kennels in stacked cages, often muzzled, for a total of 18 to 22 hours per day.

• Many tracks use wooden crates which get soaked in urine, making sanitary conditions difficult

• Greyhound adoption groups regularly report that incoming greyhounds suffer from an incredible variety of afflictions. Untreated conditions and injuries such as missing or broken toes, broken hocks and incredible internal (whipworms, hookworms, tapeworms, coccidia and giardia) and external (fleas, ticks, mites) parasites are common. Teeth and gums frequently show advanced signs of neglect-related disease and wea, attributable to diet, as well as stress related trauma from chewing on available materials in the environment (stress/boredom precipitated).

• Dogs are routinely fed “4-D Meat” the meat of dead, diseased, dying or downed (unable to walk) animals deemed unfit for human consumption by the USDA. The micro-pathogen, drug and diseased laden meat can cause the dogs to become ill. The meat is used because it is cheap.

Source: Greyhound Protection League - www.greyhounds.org
http://www.greyhounds.org/gpl/contents/common.html

GREYHOUND RACING IS IMMORAL AND UNETHICAL BY ITS VERY NATURE – THE REASON WHY IT IS BEING BOYCOTTED AND STRONGLY OPPOSED BY MANY INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS.

House Bill No. 5291 is proposing that we create a whole new profit-driven industry based on assumption of ‘expendable’ lives.

To allow a cycle of breeding and then mercilessly killing thousands of dogs “not being good enough to race” in the name of gambling and entertainment is morally inexcusable.

There is no need for the Philippines to adopt immoral and unethical practices being criticized by a growing number of informed citizens all over the world.

It will be a blight on our national image to introduce this form of animal cruelty as
an acceptable and legal practice in our country.

Further, greyhound racing is not in line with the spirit or rationale within which the Philippine Animal Welfare Act (Republic Act 8485) - a law which PAWS has
strongly lobbied for – was passed by our lawmakers in 1998.

The law was passed not solely for the well-being of animals alone but because of the conviction that a nation’s concern for its animals reflect the psyche of its people. Where people are conscious of preventing all forms of cruelty, its society is more harmonious, peaceful and more progressive.

Mahatma Gandhi, one of the greatest Philosophers of our time, put it succinctly when he said that “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Promoting a humane society by rule of law or reflecting the state of our society by putting this principle into a law was deemed important enough to merit the passage of Southeast Asia’s very first national Animal Welfare Act.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that House Bill No. 5291 be outright rejected and not passed into law for it introduces the cruel, inhumane, immoral and unethical “sport” that is Greyhound Racing.

Quezon City for Pasay City, 26 June 2009.
THE PHILIPPINE ANIMAL WELFARE SOCIETY
87 Small Horseshoe Drive, New Manila, Quezon City 1112
By:
ANNA HASHIM-CABRERA
Program Director

------------PAWS Position Paper End------------


House Bills 5291 and 5648

Take note that there are two (2) bills being passed (House Bills 5291 and 5648)--- one of which has already been transmitted to the Senate and is being sponsored by Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. Below are the details of the 2 house bills which I got from the Philippine Congress Website:

HB 5921
Session No.: 14-2RS-025
Significance: L
Date Filed: 2008-10-07
Full Title: AN ACT GRANTING THE FOX NEW MILLENIUM AMUSEMENT CLUB, INC. (FNMACI), A FRANCHISE TO CONSTRUCT, OPERATE AND MAINTAIN A GREYHOUND RACETRACK IN ANY PLACE WITHIN THE CITY OF MANDAUE, PROVINCE OF CEBU
Short Title: Granting The Fox New Millenium Amusement Club, Inc., A Franchise To Construct, Operate And Maintain A Greyhound Racetrack In Any Place Within The City Of Mandaue
Principal Author: SALIMBANGON, BENHUR L.
Date Read: 2008-10-07
Primary Referral: RULES
House Committee Report No.: 01393
Date Approved on Second Reading: 2008-10-09
Date Approved on Third Reading: 2008-12-03
Bill Status: Approved by the House on 2008-12-03, transmitted to on 2008-12-08 and received by the Senate on 2008-12-08

HB 5648
Session No.: 14-2RS-041
Significance: N
Date Filed: 2008-12-17
Full Title: AN ACT GRANTING THE SOUTHEAST ASIA GREYHOUND RACING CLUB, INC. A FRANCHISE TO CONSTRUCT, OPERATE AND MAINTAIN A GREYHOUND RACETRACK IN RIZAL OR PAMPANGA OR LAGUNA
Short Title: Granting The Southeast Asia Greyhound Racing Club, Inc. A Franchise To Construct, Operate And Maintain A Greyhound Racetrack In Rizal Or Pampanga Or Laguna
Principal Author: MADRONA, ELEANDRO JESUS F.
Date Read: 2008-12-17
Primary Referral: RULES
House Committee Report No.: 01592
Date Approved on Second Reading: 2009-03-04
Bill Status: Printed copies distributed to members on 2009-04-13

What you can do to help

We need your help to let our senators know that we reject the idea of having Greyhound racing here in the Philippines. Please send them an email saying so. Below are the email addresses of our senators. It is important that you construct the email in a polite but strong manner to emphasize the issue of animal cruelty.

(Copy and paste email addresses)




Furthermore, we also ask you to email your respective district representatives and let them know that there are many informed Filipinos about the cruelty of dog racing. Get your representative's email address from their online directory at:

http://www.congress.gov.ph/members/index.php?v=province&congress=14

Below is a sample of an email that you can pattern your email to. I urge you to create a personal message of your own to maximize its impact:

Email Sample for Senators:
-------------------------------------
Subject: No to Greyhound Racing in the Philippines (HB 5921)

Dear Senators,

I respectfully write to let you know that I am against the approval and implementation of House Bill 5921 because it will only lead to cruelty and pain for many many animals. I support PAWS' and PETA'S petitions against House Bill No. 5291, also known as "An Act Granting The Fox New Millennium Amusement Club Inc. (FNMACI) A franchise to Construct, Operate and Maintain a Greyhound Racetrack in Any Place Within the City of Mandaue, Province of Cebu."

Please don't add to the already mounting problem of stray overpopulation, animal cruelty and neglect in our country. Greyhound racing is form of gambling which is already being banned in places where informed people and their governments are seeing the cruelty it entails. Greyhound racing will mean death for thousands of dogs. Please don't allow that to happen here and please dont get swayed by anyone who promises to do everything according to humane principles. As the position paper of PAWS said, there's just no way Greyhound racing can be done humanely as it fosters overbreeding and neglect. I'm sure you already know that.

I ask you to do the right thing for the welfare of the animals and this country.

Vote NO on HB 5921!

Sincerely,
Your Name
-------------------------------------


Email Sample for your district Representatives (HB 5921 is already in the senate while 5648 is still in the House of Representatives):
Find your representative's e-mail address HERE
-------------------------------------
Subject: No to Greyhound Racing in the Philippines (HB 5648)

Dear Representative Name>

I respectfully write to let you know that I am against the approval and implementation of House Bill 5648 because it will only lead to cruelty and pain for many many animals. I support PAWS' and PETA'S position against Greyhound racing embodied in House Bill 5648, also known as "AN ACT GRANTING THE SOUTHEAST ASIA GREYHOUND RACING CLUB, INC. A FRANCHISE TO CONSTRUCT, OPERATE AND MAINTAIN A GREYHOUND RACETRACK IN RIZAL OR PAMPANGA OR LAGUNA."

Please don't add to the already mounting problem of stray overpopulation, animal cruelty and neglect in our country. Greyhound racing is form of gambling which is already being banned in places where informed people and their governments are seeing the cruelty it entails. Greyhound racing will mean death for thousands of dogs. Please don't allow that to happen here and please dont get swayed by anyone who promises to do everything according to humane principles. As the position paper of PAWS said, there's just no way Greyhound racing can be done humanely as it fosters overbreeding and neglect. I'm sure you already know that.

I ask you to do the right thing for the welfare of the animals and this country.

Vote NO on HB 5648!


Sincerely,
Your Name
-------------------------------------

As of today, there are already 7 senators who promised to vote against this bill. They are:
1. Sen. Chiz Escudero
2. Sen. Gringo Honasan
3. Sen. Pia Cayetano
4. Sen. Miguel Zubiri
5. Sen. Jamby Madrigal
6. Sen. Rodolfo Biazon
7. Sen. Manny Villar

Thank you very much senators! Keep those emails coming folks!

Online petition against HB 5921 and HB 5648

Ted Teodoro of On Loving Animals initiated an online petition against Greyhound Racing and it's another way that you can help out. While I've not really heard of any government policy being influenced by online petitions, I strongly encourage you to support this one and show how strong your sentiments are by writing a personal message through the form provided by the petition site. Ted enumerates 12 practical reasons (in the petition overview) why we should not allow this law to be implemented. Informative stuff that you can use in writing your emails.

More Info

Don't Be Cruel by Kathy Moran (Philippine Star)
Greyhound Protection League
GreyHound Action

Images used in this post courtesy of Animals Asia who has also sent their petition against this to the Philippine government

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  1. 10 comments: Responses to “ No To Greyhound Racing in the Philippines! ”

  2. By Ted Teodoro on Jul 18, 2009, 7:23:00 PM

    Fantastic job, Sherwin. Having a formatted letter for supporters to copy, paste, and send will greatly ease their task. It shouldn't matter if the letters say the same things, only that there are so many people out there who are oppose to the idea of greyhound racing. I think this is one issue that will truly reflect the intelligence and foresight of the lawmakers. I, for one, find it alarming that the idea is being considered at all. There is no way that the veterinary community in the Philippines can provide the support. The dogs will be left in the hands of day laborers. This is going to be a big mess and a shame on the country.

  3. By fox on Jul 20, 2009, 11:43:00 AM

    thank you for posting everything we need to know about it, sherwin. i have reposted this in any way i know possible. i really hope we win this battle. with the election just around the corner, and with my love for dogs, i will definitely not support senators who will vote for this bill.

  4. By lally cabanela on Jul 31, 2009, 9:46:00 AM

    i am an animal lover & I oppose this dog-racing. people should be aware of the emotional as well psychological benefits of having and loving our furry friends, so i beg our senators not to vote AGAINST this bill instead create and pass a bill that will penalize or put to jail people who maltreat, hurt and kill our furry friends.

  5. By Anonymous on Aug 2, 2009, 9:54:00 PM

    let us all be responsible dog owners. Dogs are living creatures much more like us humans.owning one means being responsible to the dogs life.

  6. By Anonymous on Aug 15, 2009, 6:11:00 AM

    Many thanks for this. I'm spreading the word.
    Just say no to cruel "sports".

  7. By belle.smith2009 on Aug 21, 2009, 2:42:00 PM

    Hi,

    I am a pet lover. I support your campaign "No to cruel treatment of all dogs out there". Let us treat dog like a human being. Have respect and care for them. For some Facebook fun tied to a feel-good cause to help dogs, check out Save a Dog: http://apps.facebook.com/save-a-dog/

  8. By zebjao on Oct 6, 2009, 1:33:00 PM

    i am a pet lover...thanks for your infos.....about animals... especially dogs...

  9. By zebjao on Oct 7, 2009, 5:05:00 PM

    it is a good thing that u posted an info about rescuing animals...as a pet owner..we sould be responsible especially in taking good care about animals...i hope evrybdy cud visit this site..

  10. By Petterritory on Nov 4, 2009, 3:04:00 PM

    people should be aware of the emotional as well psychological benefits of having and loving our furry friends.Luxury Pet Accessories

  11. By Valarie on Jan 1, 2010, 9:20:00 AM

    Thank you for posting this article. Please, EVERYONE---write to the Senators in the Philippines regarding this situation. If it passes it will be a tragedy for an untold number of greyhounds. If the dogs are treated poorly in the US (with supposed 'protection laws') just for a moment imagine the horrors they would face in the Philippines with no animal protection!

Post a Comment

Please do not leave your email or contact numbers in the comments. Email me directly at sherwin @ mefindhome.org if you have concerns or questions. This blog is increasingly attracting breeders/pet sellers trying to advertise their business through the comments and I don't want that. The blog seems to also be becoming a bulletin board of sorts for people who wish to abandon their pets. Blogger.com allows no way to edit your comments so there I have no other option but to delete comments that I deem inappropriate in this regard. I apologize for the inconvenience. Again, if you have any questions/concerns, better to email me at sherwin @ mefindhome.org than to comment here. Thank you very much!

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