Stakeholders ink deal to strengthen animal rights in Davao City

Published July 24, 2018, 12:34 AM

by Roel Tibay

By the Philippine News Agency

DAVAO CITY–The Department of Agriculture (DA)-11, the Police Regional Office (PRO)-11, and the Davao City Veterinarian Office and Animal Rescue Rehabilitation and Fostering (ARRF) signed a memorandum of cooperation on the establishment of animal welfare desks here.

The first in the Philippines, the animal welfare desk in each police precinct will address issues of animal violence in the city and eliminate the trade of dog meat.

During Monday’s launching ceremony at the Sta. Ana Police Station here, Dr. Armie Capuyan, DA 11- Regional Animal Welfare Coordinator, said the public can now report to their respective police stations if they witness animal torture, abandonment and maltreatment.

“This time there is police power, and the public can go to the nearest police precincts to report such cruelty,” Capuyan said.

Republic Act 8485 (the amended Animal Welfare Law) imposes a combination of fines and imprisonment, or both, to any person “who subjects any animal to cruelty, maltreatment or neglect shall, upon conviction by final judgment.”

Capuyan said the law further states that if the violation is committed by a government employee, “the officer responsible thereof shall serve the imprisonment and if the violation is committed by a foreigner, he or she shall be immediately deported after the service of sentence without any further proceeding.”

Marites Batacan, the founder of ARRF, said animals have the right to be protected because “they also have an inherent worth, a value completely separate from their usefulness to humans.”

“We believe that animals have a will to live and have a right to be free from pain and suffering,” Batacan added.