Lingayen- - -Pangasinan is the first province in the country to pass and implement an ordinance to regulate the sale or slaughtering of female carabaos (riverine buffaloes and crossbreds).
|Carabao being slaughtered in Pangasinan|
According to the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), Provincial Ordinance No. 170 which was signed into law by Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. last March 2013, is one big step to contain the depleting number of female carabaos not only in the province but in the entire country.
In a media conference held January 29 at the Malong conference room here, Gloria M. Dela Cruz, PCC Center Director based in La Union, said that carabao specifically the female species, is now a vanishing breed.
This real scenario, according to her, is based on national record which shows that carabao population has depleted.
The recorded population for Pangasinan in January 2010 was 110,268. This went down to 92,470 in July of the same year.
For January 2013, carabao population in the province was recorded at 80,090 and 77,794 in July. Out of the figures stated, roughly 35% comprised the population of female carabaos.
In response to this, the PCC conducts complete supervision and regular monitoring with the assistance of the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian to help save the carabao industry.
PCC programs being implemented include genetic improvement projects like artificial insemination and bull loan.
On the part of the provincial government, since he became the chief executive of the province in 2007, Gov. Espino has directed the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian to conduct artificial inseminations (AIs) in the agricultural stations of the provincial government.
Artificial inseminations gives way to upgrade the quality of native breeds through crossbreeding with superior breeds.
“We have already trained 16 breeding technicians who take charge in the local level, “Dela Cruz said as she added that the provincial government headed by Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. fully supports the program which led to the release of a P1.5million assistance intended for the buy-back scheme.
The buy-back scheme enables farmers who are financially constrained to sell their female carabaos of good breed to the government.
‘Hindi po kasi maiiwasan na magipit ang mga magsasaka kasi nagpapaaral sila or something like that,” the PCC center chief explained as she further cited that the intervention of the government is of great help.
Pangasinan being a vast agricultural province, has large key areas for carabao industry breeding.
14 municipalities were identified as carabao key areas. These are Alaminos City, Agno, Anda, Bani, Bolinao, Villasis, Binalonan, Pozorrubio, Dasol, Mabini, Burgos, Bautista, San Manuel and Umingan.
The PCC also bared that among the provinces in the country, Pangasinan has the most potential for large breeding as it is likewise being seen as the model province for carabao industry in the North Philippines.
Dr. Eric Perez, OIC Provincial Veterinarian, said that the provincial government has set its sight to implement a stricter policy on the regulation of carabao sale or slaughter as proven in the ordinance.
Reading some lines in the ordinance, he noted that, “any person who owns a female breedable carabao shall obtain clearance from the city or municipal agriculture office wherein the said office shall issue a prescribed from agreed by the committee to be filled up by the carabao owner.”
Slay and slaughter of quality carabaos without the required documents is considered as punishable acts with corresponding penalties which include reprimand and revocation or cancellation of license to transport livestock.