By Chino Leyco
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has reminded backyard swine raisers that improper disposal of dead pigs is punishable by law, reiterating government’s call to report all suspected African swine fever (ASF) cases to the local veterinary office.
Following the dozens of dead pigs found floating along Marikina River and a creek in Quezon City, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar renewed his appeal yesterday to hog raisers to report sick and dead pigs to their respective municipal or city veterinarians.
Dar said the local veterinary services office will then coordinate with the DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to determine the cause of sickness or death.
“It was utterly irresponsible on the part of the backyard raisers as they did not only violate current laws, but their misdoing also spread the disease pathogens much faster,” Dar said in a statement
“They violated RA 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act, as they deprived their dead pigs of adequate care, maltreating them in the process,” the agriculture chief pointed out.
According to Dar, violators are punishable by imprisonment of not less than six months nor more than two years or a fine of not less than P1,000 nor more than P5,000.
“Also, the suspected backyard raisers violated RA 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act, as they brazenly and irresponsibly dumped dead pigs in public places like waterways,” Dar said.
Violators of RA 9003 are punished with a fine of not less than P300 but not more than P1,000 or render community service for not less than one day to not more than 15 days.
Dar said that sickly animals deserve proper care and adequate treatment. Should they eventually die, there are strict protocols on how they should be disposed of.
“The DA through the BAI and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) has taken all the necessary measures to manage, control and contain the possible spread of African Swine Fever and major swine diseases,” Dar said.
The DA already partnered with the private sector particularly with commercial hog raisers’ groups, local government units, Philippine National Police and military in an effort to control the spread of ASF to other areas.
“The irresponsible dumping of dead pigs simply adds scare to the public, and this should not be tolerated. The perpetrators must be punished in accordance with the law,” Dar said.