(Eagle News) — Agriculture Secretary William Dar appealed to backyard swine raisers to report sick and dead pigs to their respective municipal or city veterinarians, warning those who will throw dead pigs in rivers that they would face criminal charges.
“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.
The agriculture chief said that these people violated Republic Act 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act “as they deprived their dead pigs of adequate care, maltreating them in the process.”
“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 amid the numerous incidents of dumping of dead pigs in Marikina River and in a creek in Quezon City.
“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,” he explained.
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 stressed that there are strict protocols that should be followed on the disposal of dead pigs, especially those which died of ailments.
He said that the DA through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) — in partnership with the private sector particularly with commercial hog raisers’ groups, local government units, the PNP and military — “has taken all the necessary measures to manage, control and contain the possible spread of African Swine Fever and major swine diseases.”
The DA has earlier confirmed that the African Swine Fever episodes in several areas in Bulacan and Rizal may be considered an outbreak but not an epidemic.
Specifically, ASF was already contained in Barangay Pritil, Guiguinto, Bulacan; and in several barangays in Rodriguez, San Mateo, and Antipolo, Rizal — and not in the entire country, a department statement said.