SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
Man's best friend or man's favorite pulutan? If it were to be based on statistics, then dogs are being loved for their meat instead of for their value as pets.
Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy (Party-list, Bagong Henerasyon) said that illegal dog meat trade continues to thrive in the country.
"According to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police, around 290,000 canines are butchered for food each year," Herrera-Dy said.
She said the passage of Republic Act Nos. 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 and 9482 or the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007 did not deter traders from continually breaking the law since the penalty for violation is a nominal fine.
Herrera-Dy filed House Bill 6840, which seeks to impose stiffer penalties for persons engaged in any stage of the dog meat trade and allocate funds collected through penalty fees to enhance enforcement of this Act.
Under the bill, it shall be unlawful for any person to engage in dog meat trade, including the farming or capture, transport, sale, or slaughter of dogs for the purposes of trading meat.
The penalty of imprisonment of not less than six months but not more than two years and/or a fine of not more P10,000 per dog if the person is found guilty of farming or capture, transport, and or sale of live dogs for purposes of trading dog meat.
A person who is found guilty of transporting, trading, selling, and/or purchasing dog meat shall be meted out the penalty of imprisonment from one to three year and/or a fine of not more than P100,000.
Slaughter of dogs for the purposes of trading dog meat carries the penalty of imprisonment of two to five years and/or a fine of not more than P25,000.
In addition to the punishment of imprisonment and/or fine, the bill provides that the offender shall attend a forum on animal welfare protection to be conducted by the Committee on Animal Welfare under the Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with an accredited animal welfare non-government organization.
"Commercial dog meat production is a cruel and inhumane practice that must be completely eradicated. The dog meat trade also has serious consequences for human consumers since low profit margins on dog farms often means that dogs are fed poor quality offal or even carcasses of other dogs, creating a disease-prone food chain that affects society at large," Herrera-Dy said.