Why This Is Important
A House Bill is now at the Congress filed by Congresswoman Bernadette Herrera-Dy of the Bagong Henerasyon Party List to amend the Animal Welfare Act (or Republic Act 8485) and increase penalties for those who have committed acts of cruelty to animals.
Under the said House Bill 5849, convicted animal offenders face a prison term of not less than six (6) years and one day to twelve years (12) or a fine of not less than P50,000. The current Act only has a prison term of six months up to two (2) years and fines up to P5000.
The Bill also proposes the banning of pet ownership for those convicted of pet neglect, and the deputization of reputable and accredited animal welfare NGOs to form part of a deputized Inspectorate Team to help government (Bureau of Animal Industry-Animal Welfare Division) monitor reports of cruelty and neglect, and gather evidence for the prosecution of those who do not take steps to improve the conditions of animals being maltreated or neglected.
The author, Congresswoman "BH" is alarmed at the growing number of cruelty cases. "This shows a bad example to our children. Cruelty, in any form, ruins the moral fiber of our society. We already are aware of FBI studies that link animal cruelty to human violence."
In her Explanatory Note for House Bill 5849, Congresswoman Bernadette Herrera-Dy, states that "It is time that we, Filipinos, are recognized for our compassion to animals as this evokes the finest elements of our humanity. To be firm and resolute in condemning and punishing acts which show utter disregard for life, protects our Society from deteriorating into one whose people are less humane towards each other. "