MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) on Friday urged President Benigno Aquino to sign into law the amended Animal Welfare Act.
This as May Felix Razon, head of PAWS Disaster-Relief and Emergency Response Team, said the “crush video” that has gone viral on social networking sites isn’t new and the girls seen stomping on a puppy are already in custody of authorities.
Razon said the video is part of the pieces of evidence in an ongoing case against Victor and Dorma “Chita” Ridon, a couple from Bacnotan town, in La Union arrested in August 2011 for producing “crush videos.”
The couple employed girls aged 12 to 18, who tortured and killed small animals in crush films sold for P100 to P1,000 per video, investigation showed.
On the video that went viral this week, the three girls were shown stomping on a wailing puppy until it died.
The barefoot women, whose faces were shown on the video, are all Filipinas, said Razon.
She said the underage among the girls turned state witness and are under government’s protective custody.
“Crush videos” are sexual fetish films in which small animals are maimed or killed through extreme animal brutality. Cruelty to animals is punishable under Republic Act 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act of 1998.
Meanwhile, the amended Animal Welfare Act, which is awaiting the President’s signature, seeks steeper penalties on animal welfare offenses by penalizing violators of the law with maximum imprisonment of two years and fine not exceeding P100,000 if the maltreated or neglected animal dies.
If the animal survives but suffers from severe injuries, violators of the law will be imprisoned for a year and six months and may face a fine worth P50,000.
If cruelty towards an animal does not result in its death or injuring it to an extent that it cannot survive on its own, a fine of P30,000 and six months in jail awaits violators of the law.
The bill amends Republic Act No. 8485 otherwise known as “An Act To Promote Animal Welfare In The Philippines, Otherwise Known As “The Animal Welfare Act Of 1998.”