- Animal Welfare Act RA 8485
- RA 10631 Amended AWA
- AWA Rules & Regulations
"Tambucho" Killing Deleted
Update As of July 7 2011
Unclaimed dogs and cats in pounds can no longer be legally put down through tambucho-gassing.
Department of Agriculture Administrative Order number 9 signed by Secretary Proceso Alcala removes ' the use of carbon monoxide coming from vehicle exhaust fumes' as a legal procedure of euthanizing animals. Only "carbon monoxide in cylinders may be used.
At present, there are no commercial sources for carbon monoxide in cylinders but PAWS, CARA and AKF are holding exploratory talks with a chemical engineer while continuing the lobby for making euthanizing drugs more available and affordable in the country.
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NO to "Tambucho" Killing of Dogs
THE TAMBUCHO-GASSING METHOD
Seven to ten dogs are crammed into a metal box which is then sealed. The fully-conscious dogs break into a frenzy of wails and panicky scratching as the hose is connected from the running vehicle’s exhaust pipe to the metal box.
As soon as the fumes enter the box, the dogs’ whimper and howls of pain rise to a crescendo. Their struggles to get out of the box is clearly heard by anyone standing outside.
All noises emanating from the metal box indicate that for the duration of a full ten minutes, the dogs feel every pain possible before they stop struggling and finally expire.
This method is currently being done on a weekly basis in some provinces with the use of improvised gas chambers-using exhaust fumes from whatever type of government vehicle is available.
Animal welfare groups want this inhumane method outlawed.
The Committee on Animal Welfare (CAW) has passed the Administrative Order (AO) on Euthanasia of Animals. The said AO has recently been approved by the Department of Agriculture last June 2010 and states that gassing by way of vehicle exhaust fumes (tambucho-gassing) is an accepted and legal method of euthanasia.
This, despite the fact that animal welfare organizations like Animal Kingdom Foundation(AKF), Compassion and Responsibility for Animals (CARA) and The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), among others have been vocal in their objection to the inclusion of a gassing throughout the deliberations of the CAW up to the Public Hearing in May 2009.
THE HUMANE METHOD
Sodium pentobarbital (brand name: EUTHAL), injected by well-trained and caring personnel, is the preferred method for providing the most humane death for dogs and cats. Injection of barbiturates is also included in the said Administrative Order on Euthanasia.
However, animal advocates state that the inclusion of tambucho-gassing in the AO is objectionable in itself as the method does not provide a humane or painless death to animals.
PAWS, Compassion and Responsibility for Animals and Animal Kingdom Foundation respectfully request that Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala retract approval of the AO on Euthanasia which includes tambucho-gassing as a legal method of killing animals. for reason that the said method is CRUEL AND INHUMANE.
Use of carbon monoxide (CO) gas is controversial – although “conditionally-acceptable use of CO” as mentioned in the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) – on which portions of the Philippine Administrative Order was based- refer only to commercially-produced carbon monoxide (CO) in cylinders.
Carbon monoxide in cylinders is not available in the Philippines. Thus, the decision to include tambucho-gassing (gassing through vehicle exhaust fumes) among the methods allowed was made.
CO in its pure form is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas – the reason why people are often accidentally poisoned in parked air-conditioned vehicles where carbon monoxide was found to have leaked into.
“Carbon monoxide that comes out of vehicle exhaust fumes is not pure. Many dogs have been found to vocalize in apparent pain while in CO chambers. This is the reason why it is so controversial - the humaneness (non-causal of pain) of use in animals is yet to be proven,” says Luis Buenaflor, Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF) External Affairs Officer.
FINANCIAL COST VS ENVIRONMENTAL COST
EUTHAL 100ml. bottle costs approximately P2950 per bottle, which roughly translates to P147.50 worth of the drug to put down a 10kg dog.
Financial cost of tambucho-gassing is definitely less at P5 per dog, using an estimate of gas consumption for an engine revved up continuously for 10 minutes in order to kill seven to ten stray dogs in a chamber.
PAWS, AKF and CARA believe that Veterinary Groups, Government Veterinarians lobbying in partnership with Animal Welfare NGOs can bring the peso costs of the drug down and make it available in all parts of the country.
CARBON FOOTPRINT OF TAMBUCHO-GASSING MUST BE STUDIED
Considering that a brand new four-door sedan that ranks lowest in greenhouse gas emissions already emits 3.7 tons of carbon dioxide annually, imagine the leap in carbon footprinting when tambucho-gassing is done nationwide.
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, then that is 27,600 that need to be euthanized every month..
Animal welfare advocates submit that the approval to tambucho-gas dogs should also be reviewed by the government’s Commission on Climate Change for study and approval
USED ON “POUND DOGS ONLY”
Some have argued that this method was just going to be used on City Pound dogs that had no budgets for EUTHAL, and that this was certainly not going to be used by private veterinary practitioners.
“The suffering of a pound dog is the same as the suffering of a dog seen by veterinary practitioner should it undergo tambucho-gassing,” says Nancy Cu Unjieng, President of Compassion and Responsibility for Animals (CARA).
“Suffering and pain to be endured by sentient animals to be tambucho-gassed is main contention of animal advocates.”
“If we need to put a dog to death because he cannot be cared for, the least we can do is send him off as painlessly and as humanely as possible, " says Anna Cabrera, PAWS Program Director
Euthanasia means a” good death”. Tambucho-killing videos show us that the dogs whimper and thrash about in pain for a good ten minutes before they die.
“Spay” for female dogs and cats and “neuter” for males are veterinary surgeries done to keep pets from reproducing. These are methods proven to be healthy for the animals and proven to help put a stop to the uncontrollable increase in reproduction that lead to the continuous killings.
The government will consequently be saving millions of pesos in rabies vaccines for dogs and post-exposure rabies vaccines in humans this more strategic approach is used (combination of offering low-cost or free spay-neuter while operating catch-and-kill facilities or pounds that do proper euthanasia)
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