The Sunday Times magazine has featured an article examining the cruelty of horse fighting in the Philippines, and the difficulty of trying to end this brutal industry.

Earlier this year, journalist, Stanley Johnson, travelled to Mindanao in the Philippines to experience the horror of horse fighting first hand.  The bloodshed, corruption and brazen disregard for animal welfare he witnessed there formed the backbone of an outstanding article on this issue.

Horse fights entail two stallions incited to fight each other over a mare in season. They bite, kick and strike each other with their hooves, inflicting serious injuries until one of them submits, flees or is killed.  Despite being illegal, this blood sport takes place publicly and draws a large crowd.

Travelling in the region is fraught with danger and Network for Animals veterinarian, Dino Yebron, works tirelessly against this cruel practice despite the dangers.  Johnson writes in the article, “Dino, with his long veterinary experience, is as much concerned for the welfare of the mare as for the stallions. “That mare,” he says, pointing to a quivering animal roped in the middle of the arena, “has been out there in the sun all day. There may have been 10 or 12 fights. She’ll have been mounted as many times. That’s the winner’s perk. You might say she’s gang-raped…There’s nothing noble or natural about the horse fight. This is a purely induced anger.”

Network for Animals works on the ground in the Philippines and via political channels in the UK to try and bring an end to this barbaric practice.  If you caught the Sunday Times article and want to take action on horse fighting.  Please use this link to write the Philippines ambassador in London on this issue.

Click here to download the article in full.