August 17, 2021. Rabbit is considered as a domestic pet and eating them is still perceived as taboo in the Philippines. However, consumption of rabbit meat can be a healthier alternative to other types of meat, and rabbit production for meat consumption can be profitable, when managed properly. According to USDA, rabbit meat was listed among the healthiest meats available to man since it is low cholesterol, saturated fats, calories, sodium and can provide 100% of the recommended daily allowance (RAD) for Vitamin B12. Its fur can be used in garments and furniture, while rabbit manure and urine can be used as fertilizer (Mula et. al, 2020 and Veneracion, 2017).
In 2020, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and the Association of Rabbit Meat Producers, Inc. (ARaMP) proposed that standards related to rabbit should be developed to support the progression of rabbit industry. The objective is to promote rabbit meat as an alternative source of protein after the swine industry was devastated by the African Swine Fever (ASF).
The Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) responded to this request by conducting a pre-assessment and eventually including this in the 2021 priority list for standardization. The inception meeting with BAI, ARaMP, and BAFS was conducted last December 2020 to discuss the specific standards to be developed. The group agreed that Philippine National Standards (PNS) on the slaughtering practices should first be developed.
On August 10, 2021, a consultation on the initial draft PNS was aimed at gathering technical and commercial information on the slaughtering practices for rabbit. The consultation, conducted virtually, was participated by 23 relevant stakeholders from government agencies, academe, research institutions, and private sectors. This was facilitated by the BAFS Management Team led by Ms. Camille Baraquiel, Dr. Gari Pellinor Hernandez, Mr. Aljon Reyes, and Ms. Karen Kristine Roscom.
A Technical Working Group (TWG) composed of representatives from regulatory agencies, academe, research institutions, and a private sector organization will meet in September this year to deliberate on the comments gathered from the initial stakeholder consultation to come up with a working draft standard. The working draft standard is expected to undergo another final stakeholder consultation and a series of TWG meetings before it is finalized and subsequently endorsed to the DA Secretary for approval by the 2nd quarter of 2022. ###
Figure 1. Group picture of the participants on the final stakeholder consultation for
|the development of PNS on Slaughtering Practices for Rabbit.
GMA News Online (2021). Karne ng rabbit, bibida sa mga putaheng ihahain sa 'Pinas Sarap'.
Myer G. Mula, Jhomai S. Canlas and Rosana P. Mula, Editors 2020. Why Conurbation Needs a Sustainable-Urban Agriculture. Department of Agriculture 64 pp. ISBN 978-971-7042-4 / 978-971-704-043-1.
Veneracion, A (2017). An overview of the rabbit industry in the Philippines (AgricultureMonthly – November Issue).