De Lima wants stiffer penalties vs people who abuse animals
MANILA, Philippines — Stiffer penalties should be imposed against those who commit animal abuse and negligence, Senator Leila De Lima has said.
In filing Senate Bill No. 1918, De Lima said it is the duty of the state to protect animals by establishing a system of supervision and regulation to promote and safeguard all aspects pertaining to the welfare of animals.
“Animals have long been humanity’s partner in subjugating the world and pushing our civilization forward. Animals have been a constant source of companionship, entertainment, hard labor, and even food. Many animals are likewise being sacrificed in the altar of science,” De Lima said.
Under the measure, an Animal Welfare Bureau is mandated to protect animals including, among others, implementing a system for inspection of animal facilities to ensure compliance with animal welfare standards and regulations, promulgating guidelines for humane slaughter of animals.
The Bureau is also mandated to establish an emergency animal response and rescue system to appropriately respond in cases of calamities such as but not limited to floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.
De Lima cited several instances of animal abuse such as the officials of Manila City Pound allegedly cramming 60 cats inside a two by three feet cages and subjected cats and dogs to dehydration and starvation.
De Lima also cited the reported mass shooting of dogs by a veterinarian pursuant to an execution order issued by the local government in Marinduque last September and the animal abuse caught in the CCTV in one municipality in Pampanga last October where the dog was beaten to death by barangay officials.
Many other cases of animal abuse, De Lima said, are unheard, unrecorded, and unreported.
“Some are poisoned at the disguise of giving food. Others are abandoned, thrown away, and worse, helplessly killed. A few are brave enough to post it on social media to spread awareness and alert authorities, but the State has a lot to do and many should face the consequences of their maltreatment and abuses towards innocent and voiceless creatures,” De Lima said.
“While there is an existing law aimed to protect animals, it is but apparent that there is a need to put more weight on the law by imposing harsher and stiffer penalties on erring individuals who subjects innocent animals to cruelty and abuse, by recognizing the rights of animals and by providing for a Bureau that would safeguard the rights of animals and assure their welfare,” she added. With a report from Miguel Dumlao, INQUIRER.net trainee
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