PAWS gets about 40 reports of animal abuse daily
MANILA, Philippines –The Philippine Animal Welfare Society has monitored about 100 cases of animal cruelty in the country this year, many of which are ignored due to the lack of stiff penalties against animal abuse.
PAWS executive director Anna Cabrera told reporters at the House of Representatives Wednesday that her organization receives daily an average of 40 calls on cases of animal abuse.
“Half of these are valid cases of animal cruelty and neglect,” said Cabrera.
Animal welfare advocates trooped to Congress to support House Bills 3369 (authored by Representatives Ma. Amelita Calimbas-Villarosa and Anthony Golez Jr.), 5849 (Reps. Bernadette Herrera-Dy and Angelo Palmones), 6089 (Rep. Reynaldo Umali), 6094 (Reps. Angelo Palmones, Maria Isabelle Climaco and Jane Castro), and 6605 (Reps. Diosdado Macapagal-Arroyo and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo), which all seek to amend Republic Act No. 8485, otherwise known as the Animal Welfare Act of 1998.
Wacku, a dog who lost its upper snout to a drunken man’s ‘bolo’, was presented to the House committee on revision of rules as an example of grave cases of humans’ cruelty to animals.
“Si Wacku ay tinaga sa Northern Samar. Nahagip ang mukha niya at natanggal ang kanyang upper snout,” said Cabrera, adding that they were studying possible surgical procedures for the maltreated dog.
“Humans go confident (when abusing animals) because there are no consequences. Bihira ang nakukulong kahit marami nang kaso (of animal cruelty),” she said.
House Bill 5849 seeks to put violators of the animal welfare law behind bars for six to 12 years and to increase the fine to P10,000. RA 8485 only imposes six months to two years jail time and fines of only up to P5,000 for offenders. It also wants to prevent violators from owning pets.
Dy, the bill’s principal author, urged fellow legislators to support their cause, saying “once cruel ka sa animals, definitely cruel ka na rin to humans. Serial killers often start with animals.”
She sought the involvement of police officers in implementing the law against animal cruelty and neglect once RA 8485 has been amended “so that we take (this law) seriously.”
Dy said that she was now preparing to lead lawmakers in a technical working group to discuss the penalties they want imposed against animal abuse.
“First reading na ito and then we will consolidate the bills sa TWG. It really depends kung gaano kabilis kami sa TWG. But I’m still hopeful that we can pass this,” she added.
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