LICENSE TO OPERATE. The city government’s abattoir receives its certificate as a Class AA slaughterhouse. The City Veterinary and Agriculture Office said Thursday (Feb. 9, 2023) the certificate was issued after the slaughterhouse passed the National Meat Inspection Service’s safety standards and guidelines. (Photo from CVAO)

BAGUIO CITY – The city's public slaughterhouse has passed the National Meat Inspection Service's (NMIS) safety standards and guidelines, an official of the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) said Thursday.

“The NMIS classified the city’s newly refurbished slaughterhouse as Class AA. We passed the structural and operational assessment and evaluation of the agency for its compliance to national standards,” CVAO chief Silardo Bested said over the phone.

Class AA abattoirs are those with facilities and operational procedures sufficiently adequate that the livestock and fowl slaughtered there are suitable for sale in any market within the country.

Republic Act 9296 or the Philippines’ Meat Inspection Code mandates local government units to ensure the protection of human and animal health against direct and indirect hazards, such as zoonotic diseases, meat-borne infection, and the spread of livestock diseases.

The law also requires local government units to see to it that the economic losses from inferior quality meat or abnormal properties are avoided.

“The local government is responsible for ensuring the delivery of quality meat inspection service to protect the right to health of the people from consuming unsafe unwholesome and hazardous meat,” Bested said, quoting the meat inspection code.

In 2022, the city government embarked on the rehabilitation and upgrading of the city abattoir, incorporating the technical requirement prescribed by the NMIS to conform to national standards in ensuring the availability of quality meat products for the residents.

The Baguio slaughterhouse began operating in its current location in 1998.

Meanwhile, the city government is eyeing a portion of land given by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to the city government under a usufructuary agreement for its modern abattoir.

The seven-hectare property is located inside the Bureau of Animal Industry compound along Marcos Highway, away from the central business district. The city government said it plans to put up a meat processing facility inside the planned abattoir. (PNA)