The Animal Welfare Act was enacted to protect and promote the welfare of all animals in the Philippines as intended by Congress. It focuses on the physical and psychological well-being of animals which includes, but not limited to, the avoidance of abuse, maltreatment, cruelty, and exploitation of animals by humans by maintaining appropriate standards of accommodation, feeding and general care, the prevention and treatment of disease and the assurance of freedom from fear, distress, harassment, and unnecessary discomfort and pain, and allowing animals to express normal behaviour.
This study aims to assess the implementation of RA 8485 (as amended by RA 10 or the Animal Welfare Act of 1998, determine the number of cases filed and given merit invoking the aforementioned act, and evaluate the practices in the cities of Bacolod, Talisay, and Silay in conformance with the statute. The researchers will send out online questionnaires to collect relevant information. Additionally, the researchers will reach out to animal welfare organizations, proper authorities and government agencies to collect statistics on the topic. Furthermore, this study will increase awareness and importance to not only pet-owners but also animal welfare advocates, the local government units, and relevant government agencies on their role in upholding the general welfare of all animals.
Most people treat animals as a pet or a companion. Some used them as a mode of transportation or as a source of food. Others collect animals for display and leisure. All of the above-mentioned actions form part of animal welfare. Animal welfare pertains to the physical and psychological well-being of animals. It includes, but not limited to the avoidance of abuse, maltreatment, cruelty, and exploitation of animals by humans by maintaining appropriate standards of accommodation, feeding and general care, the prevention, and treatment of disease, and the assurance of freedom from fear, distress, harassment, and unnecessary discomfort and pain, and allowing animals to express normal behaviour. (Sec. 1, R.A. 10631)
Since animals do not have a mind of a natural person, they behave differently according to their nature. Some of the animals live in the wild, some are bred in captivity, and others were raised in a family home. While animals don’t have the same thinking compared to humans, people still need to treat them with respect.
Under the R.A. No. 10631 (Animal Welfare Act of 1998), it is unlawful for any person to torture any animal, to neglect to provide adequate care, sustenance or shelter, or maltreat any animal or to subject any dog or horse to dogfights or horse fights, kill or cause or procure to be tortured or deprived of adequate care, sustenance or shelter, or maltreat or use the same in research or experiments not expressly authorized by the Committee on Animal Welfare. (Sec. 2, R.A. 10631)
To conclude, animals have rights in their capacity. Whether they have an appealing face, useful in certain kinds of situations, or endangered species, we have to recognise that they also need protection and this is why R.A. No. 8485, as amended by R.A. 10631, was implemented.
The main objective of this study is to determine the degree of implementation of the Animal Welfare Act in the cities of Bacolod, Talisay, and Silay. The study focuses on the following specific objectives:
- To ascertain the number of animal abuse cases in the cities of Bacolod, Talisay, and Silay;
- To determine the number of abuses reported to the authorities;
- To determine how the proper authorities/agencies responded to the reported cases.
To meet the objectives of the research, the researchers used an online platform in order to collect data necessary to determine the degree of implementation of Republic Act 8485 (as amended by RA 10631). The researchers created an online questionnaire via Google Forms.
Most of the questions contained in the questionnaires are closed questions that are answerable by “yes” or “no”. To disseminate the questionnaires, it was sent by the researchers using social media platforms Messenger, Instagram, and Twitter.
The questionnaire was designed in a way that if the next question does not apply to the respondent, they would be directed to the last question that is a linear scale based on their observations. The target population was respondents who live in the cities of Bacolod, Talisay, and Silay. The questions covered in the questionnaire were:
- City of Residence
- Do you have a pet(s) or know someone who has (a) pet(s)?
- Have your or your friends’ pet(s) become victims of a violation of the above-mentioned provision?
- Was the abuse reported to the proper authorities?
- Did the authorities respond to your report?
- How did the authorities respond to the report? (e.g. out of court settlements, etc)
- What is the degree of implementation of Republic Act 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act, as amended by R.A. 10631, in your or your friends’ situation? (5 as the highest, 1 as the lowest)
- What is the degree of implementation of Republic Act 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act, as amended by R.A. 10631, in your city?
The researchers conducted a survey on the degree of implementation of the Animal Welfare Act and we got these results:
• 50 people responded to the survey and 42 of them are from Bacolod City, 2 are from Silay City and 5 from Talisay City
• 41 of the 42 respondents from Bacolod City, one of the 2 respondents from Silay City, and 3 of the 5 respondents from Talisay City are pet owners.
• 7 of the 41 pet owner respondents from Bacolod City, one from Silay City, 2 of the 3 petowner respondents from Talisay City have been Victims of Animal Abuse.
• Only two of these cases of Animal Abuse was reported and responded to by the Authorities.
• Both cases were settled through Out of Court Settlement.
• Majority of the respondents have answered that the implementation of Animal Welfare Act in their cases are well implemented.
• Majority of the respondents have stated that the implementation of the Animal Welfare Act is only sufficient in their Cities.
Based on the data gathered only a few of the pet-owner who responded have experienced cases and reported cases of Animal Abuse due to a passable implementation of the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act. However, according to an article published by HumaneSociety.org, the number of cases reported are not even close to the number of cases that actually occur because there are a lot of cases that remain unreported, because unlike cases of violence against people, cases of animal abuse are often not recorded. Most cases of Animal abuse reported, commonly occur on Dogs, Cats and other domesticated animals, and these occurrences are correlated with Domestic Violence noting that the abusers often inflict violence against their pets as well. Although governments have been trying to strictly implement the Animal Welfare Act, most people aren’t aware or do not even realize how serious these cases are, in this research it can be concluded that the Animal Welfare Act is not well implemented because a lot of cases that were reported were not responded to by the Authorities and those that were, settled with an out of court settlement.
The researchers recommend that the offices that implement animal wellness should further enhance their methods in spreading awareness about the “Animal Welfare Act” in order to educate pet owners of the rights of animals as well as to their pet
The researchers recommend that pet owners should have more courage in reporting to Authorities the cases of abuse against their pets and provide evidence such as video documentation.
This research was conducted by First Year Juris Doctor Students of the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod under the supervision of Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue.
Ms. Andrea Danielle E. Espina – SAP Functional Associate – Victorias Milling Company, Inc.
Mr. Gian Angelo C. Gerangaya – Business Owner
This research paper is a product of a group’s advocacy in animal welfare.
The researchers would first like to thank God Almighty for giving us the strength in finishing this paper. Indeed, everything is possible through Your never-ending grace.
The researchers would also like to thank our legal research professor, Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue for guiding us throughout this research study and his utmost support.
To the friends, classmates, co-workers who responded to the study and shared the questionnaire for further dissemination, the researchers thank you for participating.
This thesis paper is dedicated to all those who advocate for animal welfare and are working on ways to protect animal’s rights. May our efforts be compensated in the future.