President Benigno Aquino 3rd has signed into law a bill imposing stricter penalties for acts of cruelty against animals.
In a press conference, Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte announced that the President signed the amended Animal Welfare Act of 1998 or Republic Act 10631 on October 3.
The signing of the law came a few days after a video of three girls crushing a puppy to death went viral.
“Notable among the amendments of 10631 would be the increase in penalties, as well as offenses counted under this act,” Valte said
The amended law, she said, included increase in penalties for convicted animal offenders, criminalization of animal abandonment resulting in death or suffering of animals, and deputization of animal welfare enforcement officers from among non-government organizations, citizens groups, community organization and other volunteers.
The newly-signed law imposed steeper penalties on animal welfare offenses by penalizing violators of the law with maximum imprisonment of two years and fine not exceeding P100,000 if the maltreated or neglected animal dies.
If the animal survives but suffers from severe injuries, violators of the law will be imprisoned for a year and six months and may face a fine worth P50,000.
If cruelty towards an animal does not result in its death or injuring it to an extent that it cannot survive on its own, a fine of P30,000 and six months in jail awaits violators of the law. CATHERINE VALENTE