It is a sad fact of life that dog fighting is still very much in evidence throughout the United Kingdom (UK). The League, as many of you will know, has recently redoubled its efforts in campaigning on this issue within the UK but we are the first to acknowledge that there is still so much to do in terms of engaging and educating people in the core issue of responsible dog ownership before we can expect to see an end to dog fighting in this country.
What is less well known by UK supporters of the League is our interest in the disturbing popularity of dog fighting in the Far East. In the last year our campaigns team has developed links with Animal Friends Jogja (AFJ) from Indonesia who are rightly concerned that the wider International community is unaware of the dogfighting problem in their country.
The anxiety and concern from AFJ should be a wake up call to all of us who abhor this activity, not simply because of the suffering it causes but because of that familiar refrain, globalisation.
With the advent of online communications and relatively cheap global travel what happens in a relatively remote (to us!) location like Indonesia is not solely a problem for Indonesia. Sadly interest from all over the world focusses on countries like Indonesia because it is in locations like Indonesia that ‘big-money’ dog fighting tournaments are often staged.
To illustrate this point a colleague of ours based in Australia who works closely with AFJ and activists based all over the Far East has brought to our attention a very recent news story
from the Philippines.
On Friday 2nd December the Philippine police working with the Animal Kingdom Foundation raided a warehouse in Barangay Mahabang Kahoy, Indang and apprehended six Korean suspects and a staggering 252 pitbulls. In addition to this haul the police also seized two computers, speakers, microphones, headsets, cameras, amplifiers, and scoreboards. It appears that the dog fights were being streamed online so a select client base could bet on the dog fights without having to risk attending.
Clearly this kind of well organised and sophisticated dog fighting ring enables interested parties overseas to participate in the activity and to that end it is extremely important that the authorities in the Philippines analyse the computers they have seized and attempt to identify who these international clients are who help to perpetuate dog fighting.
Of course it doesn’t just end with the raid. The League has learned that in the aftermath of the raid many of the dogs were ‘adopted out’ and one can only hope that these poor animals did not find their way back into the hands of unscrupulous dog fighters. Sadly of the remaining 73 dogs following this ‘adoption’ process only 69 have survived with 2 dogs succumbing to their injuries and an additional pair euthanized due to grave complications from wounds sustained in the compound where they had been held.
Thankfully these dogs have been taken to the Philippines Animal Welfare Society
(PAWS) Rehabilitation Centre, in Querzon City where they will receive medical care and the affection so obviously denied to them by their brutal captors. An online donation
form has been set up to help ensure the well being of these remaining dogs.
We will of course bring you updates on this bitter sweet story as and when we know more.