The recent news of a wild ostrich running around in Quezon City may have entertained us at first, but this incident just shed light on a much bigger issue that some of us may not have realized: the domestication of wild animals.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) published a Facebook post condemning this act and demanded stricter regulations from the government in giving permits to people to own wildlife.
“The recent runaway ostrich incident in a Quezon City residential subdivision shows how loosely permits are handed out to people who keep wild animals as pets in our country,” PAWS began in its post. “Loud sounds and being near roads or running vehicles cause ostriches great stress. For this reason alone, permits should not be granted for the keeping of these animals in residential areas.”
“The ostriches in the video were confused and terrified. The birds could have easily been injured or could have caused harm when they were cornered. The ordinary citizens who attempted to capture the animal were probably not aware that ostriches can inflict lacerations with their sharp toe nails or break human bones with one powerful kick. The fact that the ostriches were running around for as long as they did with no caretaker chasing after them demonstrates that the owner is not capable of effectively controlling the animals or monitoring them,” they added.
PAWS claimed that keeping these wildlife animals as pets is “unethical,” especially since their needs cannot be “sufficiently met” under captivity. They even noted how the ostrich did not look healthy, implying that it wasn’t being checked on regularly by a wildlife veterinarian which is required to hold a wildlife permit.
“PAWS calls on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to revoke the wildlife permits of those who are clearly unfit to care for wild animals and to enforce stricter screening measures in granting permits,” they demanded.
“During this time of pandemics when Mother Nature has firmly demonstrated that virulent zoonotic diseases arise out of man’s exploitation of wild animals, the DENR should clamp down on wildlife collectors and strictly implement the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.”
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