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Gov’t to deploy animal welfare enforcers to protect abused pets

Complaints on animal cruelty and irresponsible pet ownership can now be addressed through the animal welfare enforcement officers (AWEO).

The DA XI spearheaded the 10-day animal welfare enforcement training starting Monday. The enforcement training is a way of intensifying and strictly implementing the Republic Act 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act of 1998.

“Since it is a law and the DA has no police powers, we have to designate animal welfare enforcement officers (AWEO) to take the necessary actions,” Ricardo M. Oñate Jr., OIC regional director of Department of Agriculture XI, said.

The Philippine National Police personnel, Bureau of Animal Industry and animal rights advocates that participated the training were trained “on the legal basis, roles and responsibilities, coverage and scope and limits of the law.”

Based on the law, the “AWEO shall act or respond by coordinating with the PNP, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and other law enforcement agencies and LGUs regarding matters relating to the arrest and apprehension of animal welfare violators except in instances where warrantless arrest is justified.”

According to Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales, regional director of Police Regional Office XI, it is a high time to “seriously implement this law to protect animals.” He said even with the existence of the law, they still received numerous complaints on animal cruelty and irresponsible pet ownership in the city.

The training will end on March 27, after which, the 40 trained personnel will take an oath and will be immediately deputized as enforcement officers.

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