Keeping wild animals as pets could land you in jail
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has reminded the public that keeping wild animals as pets is illegal and could land one in jail.
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu issued this reminder following the rescue of a pangolin, also known as scaly anteater, at a posh subdivision in Muntinlupa City recently.
Under the law, mere possession of a wild animal, particularly one considered “critically endangered,” is punishable by maximum jail term of four years and a fine of up to P450,000.
“Collecting, hunting or possessing wildlife species, both flora and fauna, without a valid permit from the government is illegal,” Cimatu said.
“Wild animals, including pangolins, are protected by the government and our laws, and it is unlawful to keep them as pets,” he added.
Pangolins, especially those endemic to Palawan province, are critically endangered and protected under Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act.
A couple of weeks ago, the enforcement team of Task Force POGI (Philippine Operations Group on Ivory and Illegal Wildlife Trade) rushed to Alabang Village to validate a report that one of its residents was allegedly in possession of a pangolin.
At the time, the pangolin was already in the custody of the barangay hall after it was turned over by a resident who found the animal outside the house of a Chinese national named Xiao Ming.