As an activist and lifelong campaigner for animals, heightened terror threats are little barrier to the work of Medino Yebron. In the month leading up to his 67th birthday, the inspirational Network for Animals veterinarian organised visits to more than 20 Philippine governing executives, and 26 school leaders.
In Medino’s own words: “The peace and order situation in Mindanao these days is very fragile. As of now, intelligence reports state that after Ramadan, there will be simultaneous terror attacks nationwide, to be carried out by local terrorists attached to ISIS. All areas that I’ve visited lately are all on full alert and check points are common sites, especially when entering towns and cities. But my work is absolutely necessary.”
“In recent years, I have distributed close to one thousand copies of the law on animal welfare to schools, government offices and key officials and farmers, asking them to be partners in the promotion of animal welfare, with particular focus on banning horse fighting.”
“By explaining animal welfare law to school heads and teachers, and encouraging them to share the knowledge with their students, my work reaches out to thousands of children. Given the opportunity and time, I also share my knowledge of practical human health, which they love. It’s my way, hopefully, of making people more committed to the cause we are pursuing.”
As well as the promotional and lecturing visits, Medino was able to directly tackle a local representative, suspected to have arranged an illegal horse fighting derby in 2016. The heated discussion resulted in the representative denying involvement, but a prominent local veterinarian will now monitor rumoured plans for a 2017 derby and report back to Network for Animals.
The final victory of Medino’s trip was the unanimous passing of his proposed resolution in the town of Amas to implement and enforce the Philippine Animal Welfare act, with focus on the abandonment of animals, dog slaughtering, and horse fighting.