From: Reuters
Published October 5, 2004 12:00 AM

Philippines Orders Exotic Pets Registered, Says Paper

MANILA, Phillippines — The Philippines gave people 60 days to register exotic pets to conform with a three-year-old law on ownership and trade in wildlife, a newspaper said recently, quoting an environment official.

The environment department issued the directive calling on wildlife pet lovers to register with the agency between Oct. 11, and Dec. 9, the Philippine Daily Inquirer said,

The animals included such species as snakes, turtles, and endangered birds, it said.

Failure to comply with directive could result in the confiscation of animals. Uncooperative pet owners could face arrest and end up being caged instead, it said.

"The 60-day registration period is an amnesty period given to owners of wildlife animals under a law regulating ownership and trade of these exotic pets," said Environment Secretary Michael Defensor.

The census was part of a government effort to keep a record of wildlife species in the care of private individuals or business organizations, he said. The system covers both exotic and indigenous animals, listed as endangered or not.

In July 2001, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed into law the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act to restrict movement, ownership, and trade of wildlife pets such as snakes, lizards, turtles, monkeys, birds, and even crocodiles.

Many such animals are kept in private zoos and in homes.

On Saturday, dozens of pet lovers brought their dogs, cats, and rabbits to a Roman Catholic shrine for a rare religious ceremony to bless the pets in honor of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals.

A priest sprinkled holy water on the animals after saying mass.

Source: Reuters

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