Former mayor opens farms to Taal-affected animals

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Former Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo has offered to shelter the animals affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano in his farmlands in Pampanga and Bataan.

Pelayo said he will be opening his 50-hectare lot in Bataan and 30-hectare land in Candaba, Pampanga to cater the animals which were rescued but do not have identified temporary shelter yet.

He said animals, just like humans, are also at risk from volcanic ash and must be evacuated to safer areas.

"These animals, especially the horses and carabaos, helped in the livelihood of the locals and the tourism program of the government and now that they are also affected by the situation, they must also not be forgotten," he said.

Pelayo added that Batangas is not a suitable environment for animals right now because all grasslands, which are the natural habitat of horses and carabaos, are covered with ashes.

He said that all animals will be welcomed in his farmlands except hogs due to standing threat of swine flu.

Pelayo, who currently serves as technical consultant of Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar, also disclosed that he will involve the agency, state universities and local government units (LGUs) in the program.

DA will assist in feeding and attend to the health of the animals together with state universities, while LGUs will be responsible in coordinating with farmland owners who also want to temporarily shelter displaced animals.

"I will only pilot the program to encourage other farm owners. Hopefully, they will follow because there are lots of animals who needed to be evacuated now," he said.


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