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New Law For Dog Owners
« on: July 24, 2008, 09:28:30 PM »
By Rey Anthony Chiu - PIA

  Dog owners who refuse to register and vaccinate their pets against rabies would be slapped P2,000, a national law’s implementing rules states.

  And if by any chance, the unvaccinated dog figures in a biting incident, the owner is obligated to pay for the victim’s medical expenses as well as his dog’s mandatory vaccination. 

  The policy is part of the national step to rid the country of the threat of highly contagious rabies, which has killed a lot of people. 

  The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9482 commonly known as the Anti Rabies Act of 2007 prescribes the procedures and guidelines for the implementation of the Anti-Rabies Act to facilitate nationwide compliance, states the joint department order of 4 participating concerned government agencies.

  Jointly issuing the Administrative Order are the Departments of Agriculture, Health, Education and Interior and Local Government.   

  According to the Section 11 of the joint department order, an owner is legally bound to put his biting dog under observation after it has bitten an individual, or he shall be slapped a penalty of P10,000.

  If he refuses to shoulder the victim’s medical expenses and have their biting-dog surrendered for observation, owner is also liable for P25,000 in fines.   

  As the new IRR for the Anti Rabies Act of 2007 asserts the role of the state to put up a system for the control, prevention of the spread and eventual eradication of human and animal rabies, it also impresses on the need for responsible pet ownership, says Bohol Provincial Veterinarian Stella Marie Lapiz. 

  Lapiz, also leads the multi-million Rabies Prevention and Eradication (RPE) Program implemented all throughout Bohol in a bid to declare the tourist island rabies free by 2010. 

  But with the legal and fiscal saddle the Bohol RPE Council, Lapiz recently appealed anew for cooperation among mayors gathered at the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) meeting last week just as the local rabies watch noted a slight decrease in bite cases compared to the data from last year. 

  In Bohol towns, only San Isidro has successfully attained a 100% vaccination rate for dogs while elimination programs in Maribojoc, Duero and Panglao have met legal opposition from animal rights groups and residents who seem not aware of the threat of rabies spread in their places, Lapiz reported.   

  Over this, Lapiz added the presence of a provincial ordinance that metes similar penalties prescribed by the national law.

   The ordinance also includes mandatory leashing of vaccinated dogs when they are brought outside the homes, or owners are liable for a P500 fine for each incident. 

  This way, Bohol minimizes the incidence of stray dogs contaminating the vaccinated population, just as the Bohol RPE Council push for massive impounding of stray dog prior to elimination across the province.

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