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City officials urged the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) and its partners to conduct a study for the establishment of a rabbit slaughterhouse in the city.
Under Resolution No. 402, series of 2021 signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, local legislators stated that in January last year, a study conducted for the European Commission (EC) and the European parliament presented the European Food Safety Authority (EPSA) on animal health and welfare which suggested that animals should not be sacked whilst conscious, animals should not be bled whilst conscious, and death must be monitored and confirmed in rabbits before the dressing starts which can be complied properly with appropriate tool and equipment.
The council disclosed that the results of the study to be conducted on the possibility of putting up the proposed rabbit slaughterhouse should be submitted to the body for information, guidance and further needed action.
The body admitted that rabbit raisers in the city and nearby areas are already butchering sizable quantity of rabbits because of the support from the local government and the Cordillera office of the agriculture department in the promotion of the raising of rabbits as alternative sources of income of hog raisers affected by the dreaded African Swine Flu (ASF) that caused the depopulation of their pigs.
Earlier, the council passed Resolution No. 1010, series of 2021, urging residents and homeowners in the city to engage in rabbit production as an alternative meat for consumption due to the very low supply of pork brought about by the prevalence of ASF in various parts of the country over the past several months.
According to the council, the purpose of encouraging rabbit raisers is to create a rabbit industry in the city that will include breeding, slaughterhouse for rabbits, and culinary arts for the restaurant industry as rabbits are quick breeding animals with low fat, high protein and low calorie white meat.
Subsequently, a public consultation with the presence of DA-CAR and the Cordillera office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), through the efforts and coordination of the local legislative body’s committee on market, trade, commerce and agriculture, generated sufficient support to the rabbit industry.
Further, the Session Road market encounter during the Food Month celebration in April 2021 and the succeeding months have been used by the rabbit raisers to popularize the rabbit as a pet and as an alternative food.
The council noted that several restaurants in the city have started serving rabbit in their menu as a specialty and regular menu item considering the claim that the rabbit is one of the healthiest, leanest and most environmental meat as compared to beef, pork, lamb, turkey, veal and chicken.
However, at the promotion during the national food month celebration and in social media, it was observed and recommended that such activity needs special tools and equipment for standard quality process butchering rabbits. By Dexter A. See