OCVET warns vs capturing, keeping wild animals as pets

The Office of the City Veterinarian (OCVET) cautions the public against capturing and keeping wild animals saying it is unsafe, illegal and inhumane.

“It is undeniable, baby wild animals are adorable. It’s understandable why you might think that raising a wild animal as a pet is a tempting and exciting idea. However, when wild animals grow up they can become dangerous and very unpredictable,” City Veterinarian Dr. Mario Arriola said.

Only registered and licensed collectors are allowed to keep wild animals.

According to the City Veterinarian, raising wildlife animals as pets, especially in the Philippine context is a practice fraught with numerous ethical, legal, and practical concerns and is discouraged for several important reasons:

Conservation of Endangered Species – many wildlife species in the Philippines are endangered or threatened due to habitat loss, poaching, and illegal wildlife trade. Raising these animals in captivity can contribute to the depletion of wild populations, which further threatens their survival;

Disease Transmission – wildlife animals often carry diseases that can be harmful to humans and domestic animals. Raising wildlife in captivity increases the risk of disease transmission between animals and humans, potentially leading to public health concerns;

Habitat Preservation – as habitats shrink and become fragmented, wildlife species face increased pressures, such as limited resources, competition, and reduced genetic diversity. This can lead to population declines and, in some cases, extinction and

Animal Welfare – keeping wildlife animals as pets or in captivity often leads to the mistreatment and neglect of the animals. Many wild species have specific environmental and dietary requirements that are challenging to meet in a domestic setting.

Dr. Arriola said the OCVET is constantly called when wild animals kept in custody get loose, escape or cause injuries to humans, to capture the same.

These recaptured wild animals, after veterinary assessment and care, are turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Wildlife Management Bureau (WMB) for disposition, he added. (Sheila Covarrubias)