Oct 22, 2008
Leah Garces, WSPA's Director of Programmes, was interviewed on Wednesday 22 October on Sky News, responding to a horrific news story about illegal horse fighting in the Philippines.
WSPA backs the efforts of Network for Animals which campaigns to end this cruel and barbaric practice.
Leah also stressed the importance of WSPA's campaign for a Universal Declaration for Animal Welfare: "We need to make a global change for animals here, it would be much harder for countries to allow animal cruelty to take place if there was a worldwide declaration of this nature."
March 2008: WSPA Asia is supporting Network for Animals’ campaign against horse fighting by writing to the Philippine Bureau of Animal Welfare. Our letter protests the failure to enforce laws preventing these horrifically cruel events.
The horses used in the fights – some of which are televised – are goaded into uncharacteristic aggression, forced into close proximity in an arena and taunted with the scent of a young mare nearby.
Crowds of adults and children will watch the ensuing bloody contest, betting on the outcomes.
A sickening scene
The injuries horses sustain from kicking and biting each other are horrifying and often fatal. They are described in detail and pictured in an article from the Daily Mail newspaper (UK), which also lists exhaustion as a cause of death in the ring.
The paper reports that badly wounded animals – for which no veterinary care is provided – are often inhumanely slaughtered and cooked for the crowd.
The distressing article is verified by Network for Animals, who have brought this issue to the world’s attention with their campaign.
Failure of authorities
This kind of abuse is prohibited in the Philippines, but the law is not enforced. Some fights even appear to have official sanction, with local authorities offering prize money.
This is particularly disappointing from a country that has supported the progress of a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare.
One explanation suggested for this failing is that the fights are largely organised by crime syndicates who profit from the gambling involved.
It has to stop
WSPA is supporting Network for Animals and condemning this blood sport by writing to the Director of the Bureau of Animal Welfare.