06 August 2010

Stop 'Tambucho' Gassing of Dogs

The Department of Agriculture (DA) seems to be dominating the news again. This time though, the story is not about about the controversial fertilizer scam that robbed the country of billions of pesos nor it is about the scandalous volume of rice importation just to let them rot in warehouses. It is about about animal welfare, more specifically the inhumane treatment of dogs and cats.

Just recently, the Department of Agriculture enacted an Administrative Order which allows for the inhumane 'tambucho-gassing' as a method of putting down unclaimed and unwanted dogs and cats.

According to one eye-witness report, the procedure starts with seven to ten dogs who were manhandled and stuffed in a metal box that were later sealed. All the dogs inside the box will then howl and wail in panic and fear, scratching the walls of the box, and each other. A hose is connected from a vehicle's exhaust pipe (tambucho) to the metal box. The vehicle revs its engine continuously for 10 to 15 minutes, emitting poisonous fumes, sending the dogs to a maddening frenzy, whimpering and howling. Seconds later, silence and death.

Excuse my language but if everyone in this agricultural office can hold their stomach and not sincerely feel anything over this use of retarded method, most probably designed by a demented nutcase, then what a f***ing sick oxygen-wasting cretins they all must be.

The same government agency reported that a monthly average of 200 unclaimed stray dogs are put to death in city pounds across the Philippines. Multiply that average by the number of Philippine cities of 138 to get a general idea of the scale of animal killings when each of those areas do this every month, and one would get a proxy estimate of 27,600 dogs and cats killed senselessly regularly.

Animal rights lunatics usually and unreasonably bleat about the inhumanely way swines and poultry animals are transported to the slaughterhouses, but why are they a little quiet now? The Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF), Compassion and Responsibility for Animals (CARA) and The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), among others, will probably counter that they have been vehemently objecting to the inclusion of gassing since May 2009, but the noise is not loud enough. File a case, go to court, advocate using the tri-media against this method and go to the streets.

If the efforts of the non-governmental organizations are sorely lacking in power, then everyone will be more disappointed with the obscene way the Committee on Animal Welfare (CAW) allowed for the inclusion of 'tambucho killing' in the Administrative Order (AO) on Euthanasia of Animals. The AO was approved by DA only last June.

What kind of stupid officials could have brought this policy signed and approved with this puerile nonsense way of treating animals? The notion of using a medieval method of giving a 'good death' to dogs and cats is a mockery of Filipino's sense of compassion. These same kind of officials are creating a ludicrous situation whereby only the overpaid animal specialists, drivers and animal center supervisors will benefit. Making their jobs convenient and easy by adopting this cruel method is a sick joke – particularly when a more acceptable method is available.

It may be costly, but after making millions from kickbacks and overblown deals, the department in charge should have chosen the injection of sodium pentobarbital (or Euthal) by well-trained and caring personnel instead. This option is not harmful to the environment like the gassing and it is not hard policy to morally swallow.