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Councilor pushes to limit backyard pigs, chicken

A city councilor is proposing to limit the number of raised pigs and chicken in the backyards.

The ordinance, once approved, also prohibits the feeding of swill to hogs, apparently in response to the recent outbreak of the African Swine Fever (ASF) in Calinan District that has been blamed for swill feeding.

Councilor Ralph Abella, committee chair on agriculture and food, also bats for the creation of a team to oversee the implementation of the ordinance, dubbed as “Odor-Free Hog and Poultry Raising Ordinance in Davao City.”

In an interview, he said the measure aims to protect the general public and even the hog and poultry industry.

Abella, a former captain of Barangay Vicente Hizon Sr. in Buhangin District, cited that there have been complaints against hog and poultry raisers by their neighbors due to foul odor.

This, he said, should be addressed so that residents can live harmoniously.

He said his measure aims “to promote the general welfare and protect the health of the people with thorough emphasis on minimizing, if not elimination, foul or unpleasant odor and water pollution.”

The ordinance, he added, will also support in the growth of hog and poultry raising livelihood in the city through standardized management and administration.

The councilor from the second district said those engaged in the hog raising must have a garden with at least three pots of vegetables per hog or 16 kinds of plants planted in a plot with a size of at least 6×10 feet for every eight heads in rural areas and 2×10 feet for urban areas.

In limiting the pigs, urban raisers can only have eight maximum heads for fattening and four mother pigs in piglet production.

In the rural area, raiser can only have 16 maximum heads for fattening and 10 mother pigs in piglet production.

Community hog raising only allows piglet production, with 20 maximum heads in both urban and rural areas.

Free range pigs are only allowed in fended properties in rural areas, with a maximum of 20 heads for fattening or piglet production.

For poultry, urban raisers can only have a maximum of 20 heads for meat production and 100 for egg production. For rural raisers, it is fixed at 30 heads for meat production and 150 for egg production.

Community hog raising only allows 150 maximum heads for meat production.
Abella said there should be no hog and poultry production within 50 meters away from any food establishments.

Aside from limiting the number of hogs raised, Abella also imposed qualification to the hog raisers.

He said raisers should always sanitize their pig pens and chicken cages and surrounding at all times. Animal waste must be properly disposed and composted in a closed container with pinholes or any nylon sack and should be used as organic fertilizer or soil condition in gardening or farming.

Abella also said raisers must use environmentally-friendly enzyme in the fermentation of feeds for feeding and drinking of the animals and in cleaning the pens and cages.

Further, he said slaughtering of their livestock is prohibited, as it must be done in duly accredited slaughterhouses.

In line with his proposal, the councilor said he together with the City Veterinarian’s Office recently conducted a house-to-house survey, odor orientation, hog products sample distribution, and orientation on ASF. He also organized a backyard hog raisers association in the second district.

A livestock forum and public consultation was also conducted last Feb. 15 where backyard hog raisers were gathered to discuss, among others, the proposal.

He said, discussion with the hog raisers association, city veterinarian, city agriculture, city health, city planning, and other concerned parties will be done on the committee hearing after the proposal would be approved on the first reading by the Council.

Abella said he is still open for any changes to fine tune the measure.

In the areas he surveyed in the second district, he noted that almost all barangays in Agdao, Buhangin and Bunawan district have backyard hog or chicken raising activities.

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