Could you believe that greyhound racing might have a start in the Philippines? That might very well be if a handful of uninformed and misguided congresspeople get their way. This issue has occupied my mind for over a week now, and I have even written an online PETITION to be submitted to members of the Philippine congress in hopes that the enlightened opinion of the world might sway their vote. I make my case there, and I pray that I have made a good one. Greyhound racing is presented to the people as an economic picker-upper, ignoring the horrendous mistreatment of animals and basically trading cruelty for profit. There are certainly other ways to stimulate the local economy including a nationally-funded spay and neutering program. That would also provide employment throughout the country.
I find it incredible that bills were even introduced to make greyhound racing legal in the Philippines. With all the bad publicity behind greyhound racing, some people thought it a good idea to make it a Filipino institution. The sponsors for Bill 5291 are :
Ben-hur L. Salimbangon
4th District of Cebu
Nerissa Corazon Soon-Ruiz
6th District of Cebu
4th District of Iloilo
Someone is going to profit and that surely will not be the animals. Twenty-thousand dogs are killed a year in America, but already 36 states have prohibited greyhound racing. Race tracks continue to close not only in America but in countries like Australia and the United Kingdom. But the Philippines heads towards the wrong way, and the world is telling them so. Will the congress people listen? Will they have the wisdom to see the light?
I will not rehash my arguments against greyhound racing. They are all expressed on the petition site. PETA-Asia, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, AnimalsAsia, and Grey2k, along with two print journalist, have been hacking away at this most insidious proposal. The Philippine congress is set to deliberate on the first of the two bills by the end of July 2009. This first bill was railroaded through the lower house before anyone say " sneaky. " It is now up to the senators to oppose and kill the bill. This is truly worrisome. If greyhound racing becomes legal in the country, it will be the beginning of a long, nightmarish period in the Filipino animal welfare movement. Please visit the petition site, read and sign it, and circulate it among your friends. You can also send your own emails to the senators ; their email addresses are listed there. And then, pray.