THE Baguio City Council has approved on first reading an ordinance that would see the put-up of a slaughterhouse facility explicitly earmarked for the slaughter and processing of rabbits.
The ordinance states that the estimated budget to be used for the facility will be some P5 million, which is to be funded either by the local government or through assistance from concerned government agencies.
It also mandates that the facility be kept up to standards stipulated in Republic Act (RA) 10611, otherwise known as the Food Safety Act.
In addition to providing for the put-up of the facility itself, the ordinance stipulates that the local government will also be responsible for starting and handling projects to assist rabbit raisers and the industry at large in the city, provide training for raisers and culinary establishments, and promote the consumption of rabbit meat.
Fees have yet to be completely set in stone, but the ordinance proposes a P50 fee for the slaughter and processing of an individual rabbit.
Under the ordinance, the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO), the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), and the City Health Office (CHO) will take point on the project’s implementation in coordination with any rabbit breeder and raiser associations in the city. The budget and funding for operations of the slaughterhouse will be included in the CVAO’s annual budget should the slaughterhouse be accomplished.
Representatives from the Cordillera Rabbit Breeders Association (CORBA) said that currently, 35 members of the association are in the city, in addition to 79 individual breeders who are not part of the association. At the same time, the city has yet to take stock of existing smaller cooperative and rabbit breeding associations that were present in the previous years prior to the 2021 Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR) joint action of livestock raising projects in the city.
Since the 2021 memorandum of agreement establishing joint action for livestock raising projects with the DA-CAR, the department has provided the city some P1 million, specifically for rabbit raising in addition to its other projects.