Poe rejects idea of placing animal welfare under DA's meat office
Don't confuse pets as livestock

Put animal welfare under DA’s meat office? Pets are not meat, says Poe

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 04:59 PM May 15, 2024

Pet animals are not meat that can be placed under a meat inspection office of the Department of Agriculture (DA), according to Senator Grace Poe.

Senator Grace Poe | PHOTO: Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines – Pet animals are not meat that can be placed under a meat inspection office of the Department of Agriculture (DA), according to Senator Grace Poe.

Poe made the remark during Wednesday’s hearing of the Senate committee on agriculture on bills, strengthening the Animal Welfare Act.


At the start of the hearing, panel head Senator Cynthia Villar declared that animal welfare would fall under the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).


January Nones, an official of the NMIS, then explained that its current mandate that covers animal welfare is “the animal welfare for food animals.”

Nones added though that they would have a unit to focus on animal welfare policies, including those being proposed in the bills.

It was at this point that Poe questioned the idea of placing the animal welfare under the meat inspection office.

“Ma’am parang hindi yata maganda na nasa ilalim ng national meat inspection?” she said.

(It doesn’t seem right to place it under the national meat inspection)

“Please rename hindi lang sila meat…” she added.


(Please rename they are not just meat.)

In Senate Bill No. 2458, Poe proposes the creation of a new animal welfare bureau.

She, however, recognized during the hearing the administrative concerns against forming another agency focused on animal welfare.

“But to lump it under the National Meat Inspection kasi livestock parang sinasabi natin pagkain yung ibang mga animal e baka magkalituhan lang,”Poe said.

(But to lump it under the National Meat Inspection because it’s livestock seems like we’re implying that other animals are food, which might cause confusion.)

Her sentiment was shared by Heidi Caguioa, president of the organization Animal Kingdom.

“Yes, the great concern is putting animal welfare in one livestockagency or category. It’s the vision of animal welfare advocates to have a separate entity or group or even a division to really focus on animal welfare,” Caguioa.

But Villar argued it would be logical to put the animal welfare under the DA’s livestock, poultry and dairy office, and not on the agency’s plants and crops or the fishery divisions.

“Hindi ka naman pwede sa poultry, hindi naman kayo poultry, hindi naman kayo dairy. Ang logical sa inyo would be livestock kasi may mga variety ang livestock,” she explained.

(You can’t be classified as poultry, you’re not poultry, you’re not dairy either. The logical classification for you would be livestock because livestock encompasses a variety of animals.)

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Poe later advised the resource persons to think of a title “that will not confuse pets as livestock.”

Note: The English translations in this article are generated with the aid of AI
TAGS: Department of Agriculture, Livestock, meat, pets

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