Center fails to save carabaos

LACK OF FUNDS

THE regional director for the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) has warned that unless funds are provided for the center’s ‘buy-back ‘scheme, diminishing carabao population in the region will continue.

Gloria dela Cruz, PCC regional director based in Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University, La Union said the depleting carabao population in Region 1 is worrisome as she fears future generations may no longer see live carabaos since they can become extinct.

She bemoaned the serous lack of funds that prevents the center from saving carabaos from a good breed from being slaughtered.

“We cannot stop the farmer-owner from selling his carabao to be slaughtered because we (in the PCC) have no funds for the buy-back,” she said.

Dela Cruz said she is saddened that Pangasinan, the biggest in Region 1, with the highest number of remaining carabaos, but still has not focused on the implementation of its carabao program.

She expressed lament that the Provincial Veterinary Office has not given the program any priority in spite of Gov. Amado Espino Jr.’s advocacy to help save carabaos.

She said she is deeply frustrated she could not save the carabaos lined up at slaughterhouses because she could not buy back the carabaos from a good breed.

“The efforts of PCC are useless in upgrading and breeding if our local counterparts are not aggressive,” she said.

Sometime in 1999 to 2000, Dela Cruz said carabao’s population in Pangasinan was still sustainable but that number has number tremendously decreased by as much as 50 percent since 2010.

In Pangasinan, only in district 1 has good carabao population, Dela Cruz said.

“Time will come only images or statues of carabaos will be seen if carabao-selling is not stopped,” she said.

“Slaughter ban is not the solution. What I am fighting for is regulating with funds,” she pointed out. (Tita Roces)

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