Oct 23, 2018

Plastic issues aside, it seems like another problem is rising on the shore of the Boracay beach. While the locals implement some changes to sustain the island including a ban on single-use plastic, it seems like a ban on dogs roaming on the beach is also being enforced. And it’s enforced brutally.

In a video posted by Animal Rescue Boracay last Saturday, dog catchers were seen cruelly dragging dogs on the beach using poles with a noose. Being pulled against their will, the dogs tried to run the other direction which only resulted in them being slammed on the sand.

Citing the Animal Welfare Act, the Animal Rescue Boracay, a non-government organization founded by Aklan Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, said the action of catching the dogs were illegal. The law stated that all animals should be captured in “the most humane manner.” Animal control personnel are strictly prohibited from dragging, whipping, throwing, unnecessary lifting, and pulling the animal by the neck, ears, or legs.

Moreover, only individuals that have completed a training on human handling of animals may be allowed to be a personnel of a dog catching team.

Based on the video, it seems like none of these were taken into consideration. The catchers even applied more force in pulling when the caught dogs refused to walk. Is that the “most humane manner” they can do?

To make it worse, the catchers don’t even ask around if anyone owns the roaming dogs they’re planning to catch. Last Thursday, a Facebook user posted a photo of caged dogs on a pick-up truck, which is on its way to the local dog pound. One of the dogs was wearing a collar, she said, so she urged her friends to “adopt the dog until we find the owners].”

Animal Rescue Boracay was able to find the dog with the collar along with 16 other captured dogs from the pound, which they will check up, vaccinate and spay or neuter.

However, the advocates are appalled upon knowing from one of the animal control personnel that they are told to “catch as many dogs as they can until the re-opening of Boracay on Oct. 26.” This is to ensure the safety of tourists, as well as lessen the loitering dogs.

This not the solution, founder of the Animal Rescue Boracay Michel van der Kleij believes. “These activities are inefficient and do not in any way constitute population control. What is needed is a sustainable and continuous program for animal population control, addressing both human and well researched animal factors,” he told Nolisoli.ph.

He added that the only way forward is to address the root causes of the issues. That is actually the problem with most of the Filipinos who would rather resort to lazy solutions that won’t last long. Maybe instead of resorting in cruelty and violence to resolve some issues, the management can reach out to dog owners, local government units and organizations like this and properly discuss the other possible ways to prevent dogs from roaming around the beach.

And if dog catching is really the only solution for them, they should at least do it humanely, like how this dog was rescued:

Header image is a screenshot of Animal Rescue Boracay’s footage

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TAGS: animal Animal Welfare Act beach boracay Boracay opening dog Dog catching dog pound illegal plastic shoreline