Manila: Officials and animal rights activists want the individual responsible for transporting show dogs to an event penalised after 30 of the animals died while in transit.
According to the Philippine Canine Club Inc (PCCI), 40 dogs were to take part in the Beagle Fanciers Club Dog Show in Marikina City on December 2 when 30 of the animals died while being transported inside a closed van.
The canines were made to endure the 12-km trip in a vehicle without proper ventilation. This resulted in some of the dogs collapsing and dying from apparent heat stroke.
“The Board of Directors (of the PCCI) decided to suspend the person involved and has directed the trial board to immediately commence a speedy and impartial investigation into the matter,” the organisation said in a December 8 statement.
The Philippines used to have lax laws safeguarding animal rights and preventing animal cruelty but this changed with the passage in 2012 of the amended version of the 1998 Animal Welfare Act. The new law carries heavier penalties against animal cruelty.
Senator Francis Pangilinan said the offender, whom reports did not identify by name, could face up to 90 years in jail or payment of a total P7.5 million (DHS 544,644) fine if proven guilty.
“We [senate] are enraged by reports that 30 dogs that were arranged to take part in an annual dog show died after being transported in a closed van,” the Senator said in a statement issued Tuesday.
“We find the club’s action sorely lacking amid the tragic fate suffered by the dogs. In the ‘Incident Statement’ it issued, the club merely said it will have a trial board immediately commence a speedy and impartial investigation on the matter.”
“The negligent person should not face mere suspension but penalties imposed by the law if proven guilty,” Pangilinan said.
Aside from poor enforcement of laws safeguarding the rights of animals, the Philippines had a poor reputation where dogs are slaughtered for food, just like in some Asian countries.