In May 2014 Network For Animals renewed our focus on horse fighting in the Philippines after becoming aware that it had resurfaced in the province of Bukidnon, on the southern island of Mindanao.
Our intial petition to the elected Governor of Bukidnon attracted an incredible 18,000 signatures from around the world and called for an outright ban. Our team then instigated conversations and written exchange with the Governor’s office. He responded in the best way we could hope possible:
On June 4th, The Governor Of Bukidnon issued a memorandum to his provincial police comander and all municipal mayors, demanding the cancelling of all horse fights in the province, in line with the Philippines Animal Welfare Act of 1998.
The ban was enacted and resulted in the closure of two scheduled horse fights, potentially saving hundreds of horses from suffering, rape, even death. We continued to monitor the situation following the Governor’s ban and believe he followed up his order with the best intentions, against a very difficult climate of acceptance, and even organisation of horse fighting by other government officials and organised crime.
Unfortunately the story doesn’t end there. We have become aware of a further fight scheduled since the Governor’s ban took place. This is set for September 16-18, in a distant corner of the province of Bukidnon. We believe the Governor is a good man, and with the right kind of pressure, he will take action on this further fight and uphold his ban: