Jail time for irresponsible animal owners

Republic Act No. 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 aims to protect animal welfare in the Philippines. Some of the highlights of the act are:

Section 1. It is the purpose of this Act to protect and promote the welfare of all animals in the Philippines by supervising end regulating the establishment and operations of all facilities utilized for breeding, maintaining, keeping, treating or training of all animals either as objects of trade or as household pets. For purposes of this Act, pet animals shall include birds.

SECTION 2. No person, association, partnership, corporation, cooperative or any government agency or instrumentality including slaughter houses shall establish, maintain and operate any pet shop, kennel, veterinary clinic, veterinary hospital, stockyard, corral, stud farm or zoo for the breeding, treatment, sale or trading, or training of animals without first securing from the Bureau of Animal Industry a certificate of registration.

Section 4.  It shall be the duty of any owner or operator of any land, air or water public utility transporting pet, wildlife and all other animals to provide in all cases adequate, dean and sanitary facilities for sale conveyance and delivery thereof to their consignee at the place of consignment. They shall provide sufficient food and water for such animals while in transit for more than twelve (12) hours or whenever necessary

Any form, of cruelty shall be penalized even if the transporter has obtained a permit from the Director of the Bureau of Animal Industry. Cruelty in transporting includes overcrowding, placing of animals in the trunks or under the hood trunks of vehicles.

Section 6. It shall be unlawful for any person to torture any animal, to neglect to provide adequate care, sustenance or shelter, or maltreat any animals or to subject any dog or horse to dogfights or horse fights, kill or cause or procure to be tortured or deprived of adequate care sustenance or shelter, or maltreat or use the same in research or experiments not expressly authorized by the Committee on Animal welfare.

Section 7. It shall be the duty of every person to protect the natural habitat of the wildlife. The destruction of said habitat shall be considered as a form of cruelty to animals and its preservation is a way of protecting the animals.

Section 9 of Republic Act 1063, an act amending certain sections of RA 8485 states, "Any person who subjects any animal to cruelty, maltreatment or neglect shall, upon conviction by final judgment, be punished by imprisonment and/ or fine, as indicated in the following graduated scale:
“(1) Imprisonment of one (1) year and six (6) months and one (1) day to two (2) years and/or a fine not exceeding One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) if the animal subjected to cruelty, maltreatment or neglect dies;
“(2) Imprisonment of one (1) year and one (1) day to one (1) year and six (6) months and/or a fine not exceeding Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) if the animal subjected to cruelty, maltreatment or neglect survives but is severely injured with loss of its natural faculty to survive on its own and needing human intervention to sustain its life; and

“(3) Imprisonment of six (6) months to one (1) year and/or a fine not exceeding Thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00) for subjecting any animal to cruelty, maltreatment or neglect but without causing its death or incapacitating it to survive on its own.

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