Thursday, 23 April 2015

Illegal, cruel horse-fighting in Mindanao alive and kicking

Despite national and local laws, horse fight organizers are finding ways to hold their profitable derbies outside the gaze of authorities

Pia Ranada
Published 8:58 AM, Apr 18, 2015
Updated 8:08 PM, Apr 18, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – "Bratatatatatatat!" blares a commentator as two white male horses fight to the death in the village of Dawis, Digos City, Davao del Sur.

Their flanks, tense with the threat of violence, are matted with blood and dirt. After biting his adversary on the neck, one horse paws the ground like a bull.

The crowd goes wild and unseen whistles screech in ecstasy. The children, watching from nearby tree branches, cheer along with their elders, making private bets among themselves.

Recorded in video by animal rights group Network for Animals (NFA), the horse-fighting derby allegedly took place on May 16, 2014.

It is one of dozens of horse-fighting events that take place in Mindanao provinces every year.

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