TRECE MARTIRES CITY, Cavite - The Cavite government has imposed a ban on the slaughtering of dogs and other pets in the province with the just-approved stringent provincial ordinance against animal cruelty.
The benchmark decree, called "Animal Welfare Ordinance of the Province of Cavite," was approved on third and final reading by Sangguniang Panglalawigan (Provincial Board) members during their regular session the other day.
The author, 4th District (Dasmariñas City) Board Member Raul Rex D. Mangubat, was applauded by his colleagues and the audience upon rendering a brief message on the floor shortly after the five-page ordinance was read out by Secretary II Loida M. Creus.
The Mangubat prohibition included dog-eating and the abuses against the pet. The alderman, who admitted that he is a "dog lover," is the chairman of the Committee on Finance, Budget and Appropriations and member of other SP committees.
"The culture of Caviteños does not augur for dog-eating much more with the senseless slaughter of the animal and other pets," Mangubat said in the vernacular in part when questioned by Vice Governor and SP Presiding Officer Recto M. Cantimbuhan on some provisions that he made against animal killing.
"I am a dog lover, I care for dogs, you can see that in my home," Mangubat added.
The Mangubat ordinance cited that it is unlawful for any person to torture or maltreat any animal or subject any dog or horse to dog fights or horsefights or use the animals in unauthorized research or experiments. No person shall kill any animal other than cattle, pigs, goats, sheeps, poultry, rabbits, carabaos, horses, deer and crocodiles, the decree added.
The ordinance specifically cited that the killing of dogs and other animals is allowed only in rituals of sects or tribal or ethnic groups, when the animal is afflicted with incurable disease, dying and some other admissible and justifiable grounds.
In all cases, the killing of the animals, including wild ones like crocodiles, would have to be made in "humane and scientific procedures," the decreee added.
Mangubat said he made the move in response to off-and-on reports of animal cruelty, dog-fighting activities involving even foreigners, selling and slaughter of dogs for food particularly for drinking sessions.
"The reported dog-fights, selling and slaughter of dogs for food and other animal abuses are problems that should be addressed. Yung aso ginagawang pulutan ng mga ibang manginginom (The dogs are being used for food by some alcohol drinkers)," he said.
Under the ordinance, violators would be meted with a maximum penalty of P5,000 and one-year jail term. Violating foreigners would be deported as soon as the jail sentence has been served.
The Animal Welfare Provincial Commitee, headed by the governor and with the involvement of officers from the Provincial Interior and Local Government, Environment and Natural Resources, Veterinary and Agriculture offices, police and other concerned agencies, would oversee the implementation of the ordinance.
Last March, policemen and representatives from the Philippine Animal Welfare Society seized more than 300 pit bulls from Koreans suspected of running a dog-fighting ring in Laguna.
The same Koreans were caught by the police in Indang, Cavite, last December 3 for running online dogfight operations.
Reports alleged that the group staged three - to five-minute dogfights that were streamed live on the Internet.