Animal cruelty

LAW EACH WEEK

Is there a law protecting animals from harm and maltreatment by any person?

YES. Republic Act 8484 also known as the Animal Welfare Act of 1998, as amended by Republic Act 10631. The law promotes and protects the welfare of animals and punishes those individuals who perform abuses and maltreatment of animals including its owners. The law specifies in Section 6 that: “It shall be unlawful for any person to torture any animal, to neglect to provide adequate care, subject any dog or horse to dogfights or horsefights, 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”

What is the penalty provided for by law for the violators of this act?

R.A. 10631 mandates that the person proven guilty of maltreatment to animals in violation of the law is punishable with a penalty depending on the resulting injury to a maltreated animal. Section 9 of the amended Animal Welfare Act further provides a monetary fine of P30,000 to P100,000 and/or imprisonment with a period ranging from six (6) months to two (2) years depending on the extent of injury to the animal.

Is it considered a violation of the act even if the harm done to the animal was not intended?

Yes. R.A. 10631 is a special law hence the “intent” to kill or harm is not necessarily an element of the violation. For as long as the animal suffered the harm and maltreatment, then the violator becomes answerable under this law.

Is there a graver penalty if the cruelty was done to promote a business venture?

Yes. The law imposes a heavier penalty when the offense is committed by any of the following: (1) a syndicate; (2) an offender who makes business out of cruelty to an animal; (3) a public officer or employee; or (4) where at least three (3) animals are involved. When any of the above-mentioned circumstances are present, the penalty becomes two (2) years and one (1) day to three (3) years and/or a fine not exceeding two hundred fifty thousand pesos (P250,000.00).