REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8485: AN ACT TO PROMOTE ANIMAL WELFARE IN THE PHILIPPINES, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS “THE ANIMAL WELFARE ACT OF 1998”
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representative of the Philippines in Congress Assembled:
SECTION 1: It is the purpose of this Act to protect and promote the welfare of all animals in the Philippines by supervising and regulating the establishment and operation of all facilities utilized for breeding, maintaining, keeping, treating, or training of all animals either as objects of trade or as household pets. For purpose of this Act, pet animals shall include birds.
SECTION 2: No person, association, partnership, corporation, cooperative, or any government agency or instrumentality including slaughterhouses shall establish, maintain and operate any pet shop, kennel, veterinary clinic, veterinary hospital, stockyard, corral, stud farm or stock farm or zoo for the breeding, treatment, sale or trading, or training of animals without first securing from the Bureau of Animal Industry a certificate of registration thereof.
The certificate shall be issued upon proof that the facilities of such establishment for animals are adequate, clean and sanitary and will not be used for, nor cause pain and/or suffering to the animals. The certificate shall be valid for a period of (1) year unless earlier cancelled for just cause before the expiration of its item by the Director of the Bureau of Animal Industry and may be renewed from year to year upon compliance with the conditions imposed hereunder. The Bureau shall charge reasonable fees for the issuance or reward of such certificate.
The condition that such facilities be adequate, clean and sanitary and that they will not be used for, nor cause pain and/or suffering to the animals is a continuing requirement for the operation of these establishments. The Bureau may revoke or cancel such certificate or registration for failure to observe these conditions and other just causes.
SECTION 3 : The Director of the Bureau of Animal Industry shall supervise and regulate the establishment, operation and maintenance of pet shops, kennels, veterinary clinics, veterinary hospitals, stockyards, corrals, stud farms and zoos, and any other form of structure for the confinement of animals where they are bred, treated, maintained, or kept either for sale or trade or for training purposes as well as the transport of such animals in any form of public or private transportation facility in order to provide maximum comfort while in transit and minimize, if not totally eradicate, incidence of sickness and death and prevent any cruelty from being inflicted upon the animals.
The Director may call upon any government agency for assistance consistent with its powers, duties, and responsibilities for the purpose of ensuring the effective and efficient implementation of this Act and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.
It shall be the duty of the government agency to assist said Director when called upon for assistance using any available fund in its budget for the purpose.
SECTON 4: It shall be the duty of any owner or operator of any land, air or water public utility transporting pets, wildlife, and all other animals to provide in all cases adequate, clean and sanitary facilities for the safe conveyance and delivery thereof to their consignee at the place of consignment. They shall provide sufficient food and water for such animals while in transit for more than twelve (12) hours or whenever necessary.
No public utility shall transport any such animal without a written permit from the Director of the Bureau of Animal Industry. Cruelty in transporting includes overcrowding, placing of animals in the trunks or under the hood trunks of the vehicles.
SECTION 5: There is hereby created a Committee on Animal Welfare attached to the Department of Agriculture which shall, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, issue the necessary rules and regulations for the strict implementation of the provisions of this Act, including the setting of safety and sanitary standards within thirty (30) calendar days following its approval. Such guidelines shall be reviewed by the Committee every three (3) years from its implementation or whenever necessary.
The Committee shall be composed of the official representatives of the following:
The Committee shall be chaired by a representative coming from the private sector and shall have two (2) vice-chairpersons composed of the representative of the BAI and another from the private sector.
The Committee shall meet quarterly or as often as the need arises. The Committee members shall not receive any compensation but may receive reasonable honoria from time to time.
SECTION 6: It shall be unlawful for any person to torture any animal, or to neglect to provide adequate care, sustenance or shelter, or maltreat any animal or to subject any dog or horse to dogfights or horsefights, kill or cause or produce 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.
In all the above mentioned cases, including those of cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits, carabaos, horses, deer and crocodiles, the killing of the animals shall be done through humane procedure at all times.
For this purpose, humane procedures shall mean the use of the most scientific methods available as may be determined and approved by the committee.
Only those procedures approved by the Committee shall be used in the killing of animals.
SECTION 7: It shall be the duty of every person to protect the natural habitat of the wildlife. The destruction of said habitat shall be considered as a form of cruelty to animals and its preservation is a way of protecting the animals.
SECTION 8: Any person who violates any of the provisions of this Act shall, upon conviction by final judgement, be punished by imprisonment of not less than six (6) months nor more than (2) years or a fine of not less than One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00) or both at the discretion of the Court. If the violation is committed by a juridical person, the officer responsible thereof shall serve the imprisonment when imposed. If the violation is committed by an alien, he o she shall be immediately deported after the service of sentence without any further proceedings.
SECTION 9: All laws, acts, decrees, executive orders, rules and regulations inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are prelude or modified accordingly.
SECTION 10: This act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.
(SGD) JOSE DE VENECIA, JR. Speaker of the House of Representatives
(SGD) NEPTALI GONZALES President of the Senate
This Act, which is a consolidation of the Senate Bill No. 2120 and House Bill No. 9274, was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on February 3, 1998 and February 2, 1998 respectively.
(SGD) ROBERTO P. NAZARENO Secretary General House of Representatives
(SGD) HEZEL P. GACUTAN Secretary of the Senate
Approved: Feb. 11, 1998