The Philippines Congress passed Senate Bill No. 2541, or the “National Anti-Rabies Bill of 2007,” on February 20, 2007. Following the drafting and approval of the Implementing Rules and Regulations in Aug 2008, the law took effect. While primarily aimed at combating Rabies in the Philippines, the Bill also included amendments that dramatically increase the penalties associated with dog meat trading.
Thanks to intensive and coordinated lobbying from the animal welfare community these critical amendments were included at the last minute and now pave the way for organizations like Network for Animals to effectively prosecute dog meat traders.
The 2 amendments related to the dog meat trade included a clause stating that local government agencies must work to prohibit the trade of dogs for meat and a clause stating that any person found guilty of dog meat trading shall be fined not less than 5,000 pesos (approximately $73) per dog implicated, and imprisoned for a minimum of one year. This is a massive increase on the old minimum penalty of 1000 pesos (approximately $14) per incident and will go a long way to eliminating the dog meat trade.
Additionally, animal welfare groups lobbied for and obtained a clause prohibiting electrocution as a euthanasia procedure and a clause stipulating that impounded dogs be put up for adoption by qualified persons with the assistance of NGOs, rather than being euthanized.
This new legislation is a giant step forward in the fight to end the appalling suffering inherent in the dog meat trade and will not only serve as a deterrent for those thinking of engaging in the dog meat trade, but will bankrupt existing dog meat traders, eliminating them from their grisly trade altogether.