Senator Grace Poe prompted the Department of Agriculture (DA) to take an active role in making policies and programs for the promotion of animal welfare in the country.
The senator recently filed Senate Bill No. 2458, seeking to strengthen animal welfare standards, policies, rules and regulations, implementation and enforcement as well as provide tougher penalties to violators.
The measure proposes to create an Animal Welfare Bureau (AWB) that will have city, municipal, provincial and regional offices. The proposed body will be placed under the DA.
“Basically, you will form a policy, and in every local government there should be an animal rights council,” Poe told Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. when he recently faced the Commission on Appointments for confirmation.
“Iyong ibang local governments meron silang dog pounds pero hindi naman talaga naaalagaan ang mga aso,” she added.
Poe said that under her bill, the DA through the AWB would be tasked to monitor the compliance of local governments on animal welfare programs, standards, rules and regulations.
The AWB will also implement a system for inspection of animal facilities to ensure adherence to animal welfare standards and regulations.
It will also provide the minimum standards on the appropriate food, water, and shelter for each species of pet and animals depending on the age, breed, size, and special needs of the animals.
“Hopefully, we will get the cooperation of the DA in pushing for the bill because it’s the agency that will be at the helm of implementation,” said Poe.
The senator noted that various groups, including animal welfare advocates, have expressed support for the passage of the strengthened Animal Welfare Act.