Goal: Improve enforcement of anti-horse fighting laws in the Philippines.
Horse fighting, an outlawed form of entertainment in the Philippines, is carrying on as strong as ever according to a report by European advocacy group Network for Animals. An investigation revealed entire villages coming together to witness the brutal bloodsport, which is similar to a dog fight. A mare is placed in the ring as two stallions are held back and in order to build aggression before being released and allowed to charge each other.
Rather than a fight to the death, most horse fights end after a set period of time, generally one hour. Like many fighting animals, it is not common for the horses to receive any veterinary care for their injuries. According to a veterinarian, most of the horses will later die of internal injuries from being kicked, a slow and agonizing process that can take anywhere from two days to a week. Others will die of severe infection from untreated wounds, while only the lucky are shot by their owners to end their misery.
The process in which the animals are trained to fight is equally horrific. Physical force, starvation, and extended confinement is used to first “break” the horses. Common exercises during training include chaining an animal’s upper body with rope in order to make it stand on its hind legs and jab with its forelegs, as well as putting a horse in a ring with an aggressive goat and forcing the horse to kill it.
Despite the fact that horse fights are illegal, they are publicly advertised and often not investigated by police. Due to this lack of enforcement, organizers can hold fights and trainers can abuse horses with no legal repercussion. Sign the petition below to demand that the Filipino government immediately allocate more resources to the enforcement of anti-horse fighting laws.
Dear President Benigno Aquino III,
A recent investigation by Network for Animals has uncovered a thriving illegal horse fighting industry in the Philippines. Some view the bloodsport as entertainment, and will congregate in masses to gamble on the outcome of the match. The horses are forced to fight until they are severely injured, with many dying slowly from painful internal injuries or severely infected wounds.
The investigation revealed that many such events are not shut down despite being publicly advertised for weeks in advance. This allows the continued suffering of horses as well as continued profits to those who abuse animals for entertainment. We, the undersigned, demand that the Filipino government improve the enforcement of anti-horse fighting laws in order to finally end the cruel tradition.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mike Gonzalez via Wikimedia Commons