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.”

The AO was  a result of CAW Resolution Number 1 Series of 2011 citing that the DA Secretary asked the Committee on Animal Welfare (CAW) to review the request of PAWS regarding AO 13 on the use of tambucho (vehicle exhaust fumes) to kill dogs and cats. The Resolution sustained the result of the August 24, 2010 meeting (deletion of tambucho) and invalidated the result of a re-voting on April 12, 2011 which was mainly pushed by Dr. Karlo Gicana of the Philippine Society of Animal Science.

BAI Director Efren Nuestro pointed out that there was no need for a re-voting since there was a quorum and proper voting on the matter during the August 24 2010 CAW meeting. The delay in transmittal of the AO with deletion of tambuho could be traced to the erroneously-captured Minutes stating that “all inhalants should be deleted” when there was no such mention of this during the August 24, 2010 voting.

Nuestro’s statement echoed that of PAWS’ and animal welfare groups when they were protesting the re-voting last April 12. Animal welfare groups welcomed this development when they received a copy of the memo last month.

“This is a tremendous victory for the animals,” PAWS Executive Director Anna Cabrera said. “It means that even those dogs who are not ‘paying clients’, those virtually deemed as the ones who ‘do not matter ‘ by those who voted for tambucho – will not die painful, agonizing deaths. We thank Secretary Alcala and Director Nuestro for heeding the call of animal lovers everywhere.”

PAWS, together with animal welfare groups CARA and AKF launched a campaign condemning the inclusion of the tambucho method in the Euthanasia AO in August 2010. CAW recommends and draws up the rules and regulations under the Animal Welfare Act.

 “Sadly, not all members of CAW are pro-animal welfare despite the fact that the majority of them are vets. Only two CAW members are animal welfare groups -PAWS and Philippine SPCA,” says Nancy Cu Unjieng, President of CARA.

“Perhaps the time has come for us to lobby for review of the said law and the composition of the Committee,” commented Luis Buenaflor of Animal Kingdom Foundation

AO number 9 and 13 are currently awaiting publication at the UP Law Center.