On December 21, TV Iberia’s news program aired a manipulative reportage titled "A Regulation for Pig Farmers”. The reportage mentions the Resolution #548 of the Government of Georgia on identification and registration of pigs. The reportage has also been published by kutaisitoday.com and News TV. An information agency tb24.ge has also published a manipulative article on this issue.
According to the anchor of the news program of Iberia TV, people reacted to the sub-paragraphs of this resolution quite emotionally. Opinions of farmers, peasants and meat entrepreneurs were given. There are presumptions that the initiative implies to assign passports to pigs, which might not be free and may cause an increase in price on meat products. The report does not present the position of the institutions that are responsible for implementing the resolution of the government. Balance is only formally provided in the reportage, as only the comments of those MPs (Zakaria Kutsnashvili, Zaza Gabunia, Guguli Maghradze) are given that do not have competence on this particular sector. The report also presents a comment of the Former Minister of Agriculture of Georgia, Otar Danelia, which stated that he had not viewed the initiative, however, presumably, it concerned the tracking ability of pigs.
1. Rule of Identification and Registration of Pigs and the Registration of its Farm Location does not imply their passportization
Respondents use the phrase "pig’s passport” in the reportage. According to the National Food Agency, the Rule of Identification and Registration of Pigs and the Registration of its Farm Location does not imply their passportization. Therefore, "pigs’ passportization” is not mentioned in the aforementioned rule.
2. Goals of the Rule of Identification and Registration of Pigs and the Registration of its Farm Location
The Government of Georgia adopted the Resolution #548 on approving the Rule of Identification and Registration of Pigs and the Registration of its Farm Location on December 13, 2016.
The Rule of Identification and Registration of Pigs and the Registration of its Farm Location was prepared in accordance with the commitments of the Association Agreement with the EU and DCFTA (4th chapter), in line with the codified version of the Directive 2008/71/EC of the European Commission.
The given rule aims to:
- Protect public health and provide trustworthy information to the customers about the origin and safeness of pork products;
- Hold and track complete information on pigs and their farms;
- Create a single information base about pigs and their farms and regulate accounting;
- Protect pigs’ health, manage epidemiologic condition and provide veterinarian trustworthiness;
- Implement veterinarian control over the transportation of pigs within the country and the export-import;
- Improve and upgrade breeding activities.
The regulation is important for protecting animals’ health, establishing food safety standards and providing tracking ability that would facilitate protection of customers’ interests.
According to the rule, the identification of pigs and the registration of their farms will begin from 2018. The identification of pigs will be implemented in accordance to the rule with special ear badges or piercing. Each pig will be assigned an id number (this rule does not apply to those individuals that have one pig for own use and consumption and is not subject to transportation).
3. The documentation is free for farmers and it will not cause increase in the price of meat products
According to the journalist, as one of the meat entrepreneurs thought, the resolution of the government would negatively affect the farmers and might cause an increase in the prices. One of the respondents also made point that taking "pigs’ passports” might not be free.
According to the National Food Agency, the procedures associated with identification and registration will be free for farmers and small farmer businesses. Moreover, the given activities (identification and registration) will not cause an increase in the price of pork, as the activities will be carried out with budgetary funding.
Prepared by Dali Kurdadze