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Ano Ang Animal Welfare Act?


“ATTY., MAY ASO PO KAMI PERO HINDI NA PO NAMIN KAYA ALAGAAN, PWEDE KO NA LANG PO BA NA PAKAWALAN SIYA? MAY KASO PO BA YON?”

ANG PAG-ABANDONA NG ALAGANG HAYOP O ANIMAL PETS NA WALANG MAAYOS NA DAHILAN AY ISANG KRIMEN NA PINAPARUSAHAN NG KULONG UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10631 OTHERWISE KNOWN AS “THE ANIMAL WELFARE ACT OF 1998”, AS AMENDED. 

May nagtanong sa E-Lawyers Online kung ano ang liability ng isang animal pet owner kung pinakawalan niya ang mga alagang pusa na kapapanganak pa lamang dahil hindi niya kayang alagaan ang madaming pusa sa bahay. Ganito ang question ng isang reader:

“Atty., may pet po kami na pusa at nanganak ito ng 6 na kuting. Pinamimigay na po namin pero walang tumanggap dahil nasa condo po kami at mahirap alagaan kung madami sila. Pwede ko ba na isako sila at itapon na lang sa basurahan? o mas maganda po ba na dalhin ko na lang sa City Hall? Ano po kaso ko kung ganun?”

Ang Republic Act No. 8485 known as the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 as amended by Republic Act No. 10631 ay ang batas na nagproprotekta sa mga alagang hayop laban sa anumang maltreatment, neglect, abuse at exploitation. Ang coverage ng batas na ito ay halos lahat ng animals ayon sa Section 1 ng batas na ito:

“SECTION 1. It is the purpose of this Act to protect and promote the welfare of all terrestrial, aquatic and marine animals in the Philippines by supervising and 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 animal shall include birds.

Ang pag-abandona ng alagang hayop ng walang sapat na dahilan ay kinukunsidera na isang “maltreatment of animals”, at ayon sa Section 7 ng batas na ito, ito ay isang krimen na may kaparusahan na kulong at multa:

SEC. 7. It shall be unlawful for any person who has custody of an animal to abandon the animal.

“If any person being the owner or having charge or control of any animal shall without reasonable cause or excuse abandon it, whether permanently or not, without providing for the care of that animal, such act shall constitute maltreatment under Section 9.

“If the animal is left in circumstances likely to cause the animal any unnecessary suffering, or if this abandonment results in the death of the animal, the person liable shall suffer the maximum penalty.

“Abandonment means the relinquishment of all right, title, claim, or possession of the animal with the intention of not reclaiming it or resuming its ownership or possession.”

“SEC. 9. 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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