Solon seeks stiffer penalties for animal cruelty amid ‘Oro’ dog slaughter controversy

A lawmaker has urged the House of Representatives to include two bills imposing stiffer penalties on animal cruelty in its legislative agenda amid the dog slaughter controversy surrounding an official film entry of the Metro Manila Film Festival.

In a statement on Friday, Assistant Majority Leader and Bagong Henerasyon Partylist Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy said the Congress must take swift action on the proposed legislation that would strengthen animal welfare regulations especially with the public outcry raised against the alleged killing of a dog in the film "Oro".

House Bill 4377, authored by Sorsogon Rep. Evelina Escudero and Masbate Rep. Maria Vida Espinosa-Bravo, seeks to increase penalties against cruelty to animals from a minimum imprisonment of one year and two years to six years and eight years.

HB 4377 also raises the imposable fine from Php 100,000 to Php 500,000 if the animal subjected to cruelty, maltreatment, or neglect dies.

The proposed measure also removes animal cruelty offenses from the probation law that will exempt first time offenders from imprisonment if the imposable sentence is below six-year incarceration.

Another measure is House Bill 3836 or the Anti-Dog Meat Trade Act of 2016 which increases imposable penalties on persons engaged in the killing of dogs for commercial purposes.

Under the bill authored by Herrera-Dy, 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.

"I refiled HB 3836 in the hope that this time dog lovers in the Lower House will wholeheartedly support it. I am of the impression that a big majority, if not all, congressmen have pet animals, particularly dogs," Herrera-Dy said, noting that at least 300,000 dogs are being butchered yearly in the Philippines.

The penalty of imprisonment of not less than six months but not more than two years and/or a fine of not more Php 10,000 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 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 Php 100,000.

Source: Philippines News Agency