Floridablanca, Pampanga — A business group engaged in breeding and repopulating hogs for local markets in Central and Northern Luzon assailed Floridablanca Mayor Darwin Manalansan for allegedly blocking the movement of delivery trucks carrying live sows.
Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) chairman Rosendo So said the move is uncalled for, since the hog industry is still reeling from the effects of African Swine Fever (ASF) that hit the country.
So said Manalansan also padlocked the Evergreen Bioscience Technology Inc., situated at Barangay Gutad here, for alleged sanitation and health complaints by residents in surrounding communities.
The Standard tried to reach Manalansan for comment, but the mayor could not be located by his staff as of Friday.
“We are not privy to the specifics of the case. We are just after the welfare of the animals and of our desire to rehabilitate the livestock industry that has been crippled by ASF for the past two years,” said So.
He said Evergreen farm is helping rehabilitate and repopulate the existing livestock to address the shortage of pork meat.
Not contented with the closure order, So said Manalansan ordered the seizure of hundreds of sows, citing the ASF scare and health risk posed to the locals in surrounding communities.
“The closure order would endanger the livestock due to psychological stress, unnecessary discomfort and pain, which are clear violation of Republic Act (RA) 10631 or the Animal Welfare Act,” So explained.
“The law pertains to the physical and psychological well-being of animals,” he added.
“It includes, but not limited to, the avoidance of abuse, maltreatment, cruelty and exploitation of animals by humans by maintaining appropriate standards of accommodation, feeding and general care, the prevention and treatment of disease and the assurance of freedom from fear, distress, harassment, and unnecessary discomfort and pain, and allowing animals to express normal behavior,” So said.
Last May, President Duterte issued Proclamation 1143 placing the entire country under a State of Calamity due to the ASF.
“Under Section 2 of Proclamation 1143, all LGUS are enjoined to render full assistance in jumpstarting the rehabilitation of the hog industry,” said So.
He added that under Proclamation 1143, LGUs are mandated to assist and not hinder the repopulation and rehabilitation of the hog industry.
“Yung nasa farm ng Evergreen ay breeder hogs, the objective is to help our backyard raisers and some commercial farms restart their piggery business by supplying them with these sows,” So explained.
Evergreen farm has been supplying sow to other farms across Central and Northern Luzon these past weeks.
“Hindi dapat madamay ang mga baboy at mga pagsisikap para matulungan ang maraming magbababoy na nawalan ng hanapbuhay dahil sa ASF,” he said.
So said SINAG will not hesitate in filing administrative and criminal cases with the Ombudsman against the mayor as he warned to lodge legal actions to those who would stop the dispersal and movement of hogs and other livestock.