Senator Cynthia Villar has expressed opposition to the Department of Agriculture's (DA) suggestion of making rabbit as an alternative to pork meat amid the African swine fever (ASF) threat.
In an interview on Thursday here, Villar committee chairperson on Agriculture and Food said the proposal was ill advised because swine production remains one the biggest food sources in the country.
Last week, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said apart from looking at the poultry as an alternative to hogs, they are also studying the potential of rabbit production.
Dar said rabbit farming could be an alternative if only to fill the supply gap arising from the ASF onslaught on the hog industry.
However, Villar said changing the mindset of the Filipinos may be more challenging than the DA had anticipated.
The Filipinos are not used to eating rabbit meat. I think it would be difficult," she said.
A far realistic goal, she said, is to make rabbit production more of a complementary livelihood among backyard hog raisers but not as a total replacement to swine raising.
DA had earlier touted the benefits of rabbit farming, noting that it has a relatively short cycle and is noted for its high protein content and its other nutritional benefits.
SOURCE: PHILIPPINES NEWS AGENCY