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The legal and cultural implications of killing a dog for film

Anna Bueno: ‘Here’s what we know for a fact: In the film “Oro,” a dog was gutted onscreen, in a manner that raised questions about the ethical sensibilities of both the audience and the filmmakers themselves. The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) may file a case against the filmmakers, alleging the killing was a crime under the Animal Welfare Act. The makers of “Oro” released a statement, stating that the production team had no hand in the killing, implying that it was a member of the community — a “tagapatay,” who partakes of the custom of killing and eating dogs — who performed it. The filmmakers added that the meat of a pig, and not the dog, was eaten… It is clear in the law that a dog cannot be killed in the name of art, a matter seemingly addressed by the film’s director, Alvin Yapan… Dogs are traditionally killed and eaten by the members of the small community, a tradition that was included in the narrative of the of the witnesses to the Gata 4 massacre, says Yapan, and as practised by numerous tribes and communities in accordance with their cultures, according to Feliz Guerrero, the executive producer. The film’s statement, thus, made a defense not referring to art for art’s sake. Rather, the defense questions how we perceive a culture that may seem alien to our own: in some parts of the Philippines, dogs are killed, eaten, considered a delicacy for their meat’. SOURCE…

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