DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/21 March) — The City Veterinarian’s Office (CVO) confiscated last year a total of 3,129 kilos of illegally slaughtered meat from the city’s public markets.
This was only 78% of the office’s target of 4,000 kilos of illegal meat for the year.
According to the city’s annual report, the highest number of confiscated illegally slaughtered meat was in the third quarter of 2013, with 1,089.75kg.
A total of 2013, 879.22 kilos were seized in the second quarter, while 629 kilos and 531.13 kilos were confiscated in the fourth and first quarters, respectively, the report added.
According to the city government website, www.davaocity.gov.ph, a total of 5,997.99 kilos of assorted “hot meat” was confiscated from January to August 2012 alone.
But the CVO assured the meat products from the city’s public markets are safe to eat.
City veterinarian Cerelyn Pinili said regularly monitoring the public markets in Tibungco, Panacan, Bankerohan, Matina, Calinan, Mintal, Toril, and Agdao.
Clarita Pellano, the CVO’s meat, livestock and fisheries inspection division chief, said they are also giving information to consumers on the city’s guidelines on meat consumption and sales.
“We will be hanging tarpaulins in the city’s public markets and slaughter houses,” Pellano said.
She said the office conducts daily random surveillance of public markets through “spotters” who report on instances of illegal meat being sold there.
She said the information campaign will include information on how to spot fish caught via dynamite fishing, locally known as “binuthan”.
Pinili said buyers should be more cautious of the meat products that they buy. “If you notice that the meat is slimy and has a foul odor, don’t buy it. It could be double dead meat.”
City councilor Edgar Ibuyan, a former barangay captain of Bankerohan, asked buyers to make sure the meat products they buy come from the city’s slaughterhouses.
“Avoid meat without stamps,” Ibuyan said.
“You’re not only buying clean meat, you are also helping the cooperative that runs this slaughterhouse,” he said.
The satellite slaughterhouse in Bankerohan is run by the Bankerohan Livestock Breeders’ Cooperative.
Ibuyan said the satellite slaughterhouse is able to earn for the city at least P2 million per year.
Pellano said the CVO disposes the “hot meat” (pork, poultry and beef) in “condemned pits” located in Maa.
City Ordinance 158-05 approved in 2005 requires that animals meant for public consumption must be slaughtered in identified abattoirs.
Republic Act (RA) 9296 or the meat inspection code of the Philippines also requires the ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection of meat for human consumption by authorized meat inspectors.
In May 2013, President Benigno S. Aquino III signed RA 10536 which penalizes violators of the “hot meat” law with fines of up to P1 million and imprisonment or up to 12 years. (MindaNews)