Over the weekend Network for Animals had a stand at Discover Dogs 2011 to promote our work on the dog meat trade in the Philippines, talk to supporters and get people signing our postcards to the Filipino Ambassador in London.
It was a busy weekend at Earl’s Court, with thousands of people and dogs pouring through the doors to find out about our canine friends. There were plenty of animal welfare groups in attendance, ensuring that the event had an animal-friendly feel to it and lots of information available about responsible pet ownership, rescue dogs and healthy breeding standards. As well as our campaign against the dog meat trade being highlighted, groups such as the Kennel Club were encouraging visitors to sign petitions against puppy farming and informing people about where not to buy their new pet from. Pets as Therapy were also promoting their great work, along with many shelters and charities specialising in animal rescue.
Visitors to the Network for Animals stand could browse merchandise, ask us questions about our campaigns and, most importantly, sign postcards to the Filipino Ambassador in London asking for urgent action on the dog meat trade. In total more than 200 people signed postcards at our stand, with many more taking extra cards to give to their friends and colleagues. We were delighted with the positive response to the campaign and hope that people continue to send these cards after the event.
Many people asked us whether or not we felt postcard campaigns had an impact. Our response to this question is to highlight how a campaign needs to be multi-faceted; therefore we undertake a number of approaches, from our work on the ground in the Philippines, to government outreach, to petitions to the British government and Foreign Office and also additional pressure on the Philippines Embassy in London. The postcard campaign is another way to keep the issue on people’s minds, ensuring that the Embassy recognise how important this issue is to British people.
Thanks to everyone who came to our stand and spoke to us. We relished the opportunity to speak to the dog-loving public about our work in the Philippines and have gained some wonderful new supporters.