De Lima deplores maltreatment of impounded dogs in Cebu


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima expressed outrage over recent reports showing how impounded dogs had gone unfed, with some left to die, inside a dog pound in Asturias, Cebu.

De Lima, an animal lover, said she hopes the recent incident will prompt her colleagues to help push for the swift passage of her Proposed Senate Bill (SB) No. 1918, or the “Revised Animal Welfare Act of 2000”, which seeks to impose stiffer penalties for crimes involving animal abuse and negligence and to establish the five basic freedoms of animal.

These include (1) Freedom from hunger and thirst; (2) Freedom from discomfort; (3) Freedom from pain, injury or disease; (4) Freedom to express normal behavior; and (5) Freedom from fear and distress.

“Dogs, considered to be man’s best friend, do not deserve this kind of cruelty and suffering. The individuals running the dog pound in Cebu should be held accountable for this kind of neglect,” she said.

“After witnessing this inhumane treatment of dogs, should we be more persistent in putting weight on the law by imposing stiffer penalties on individuals who subject innocent animals to cruelty, abuse or neglect, and making clear the rights of animals in our society,” she added. 

Recently, a video showing impounded dogs left unfed inside a pound in Asturias, Cebu went viral, resulting to concerned citizens and groups rescuing the impounded dogs.

According to a 24 Oras report, the municipal government of Asturias started impounding stray dogs in September following the implementation of an ordinance. Authorities found at least three dogs dead inside the pound.

 “Anong klaseng pagkatao at pagtrato ang maglalagay sa mga aso sa dog pound at pababayaan lang silang magdusa’t mamatay? As I’ve always said, dogs, like humans, need love and affection from us. Their needs should never be overlooked,” she said.

De Lima further reminded pet owners to be responsible fur-parents, maintaining that one should not get dogs if he is not capable of taking care of these animals.

“Ang pagkakaroon ng alagang aso ay parang pagkakaroon na din ng inaarugang anak. Kaya dapat siguraduhing kakayanin ang responsibilidad bago mag-alaga ng aso. Hindi sila parang laruan na kapag napagsawaan na ay iiwanan na lamang,” she said.

Under SB No. 1918, an Animal Welfare Bureau is mandated to fulfill their functions 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 provide minimum standards on the appropriate food, water, and shelter for each species of pet and animals depending on the age, breed, size, and special needs thereof.

In filing the measure, De Lima likewise proposed that any person who subjects any animal to cruelty, torture, maltreatment or any of the prohibited acts will be punished with a penalty of six months imprisonment and a fine of minimum fine of Thirty Thousand Pesos (₱30,000).

She also stressed under SB No. 1918 that operating an animal facility including any animal transport facility, without the required permit shall be punished with a penalty of one year imprisonment and a fine of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (₱100,000). (30)

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
Rm. 502 & 16 (New Wing 5/F) GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City

Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
807-8489 / (Rm. 16) 807-8580 /local 8619

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