Rab­bit farm­ing sem­i­nar for CLSU Vet Med stu­dents

Agriculture - - Contents - BY ANGIE M. VEN­ERA­CION

The sem­i­nar was or­ga­nized by Mark Ar­man D. Aquino, group leader of the se­nior clin­i­cians with the ap­proval of CLSUCVSM fac­ulty mem­ber Dr. Mann Cy­ron E. Sarmiento. Aquino, al­ready a rab­bit raiser, wished to share the ben­e­fits of rais­ing rab­bits with fel­low VMed stu­dents, not­ing that rab­bits are not suf­fi­ciently in­cor­po­rated in the cur­rent ve­teri­nary cur­ricu­lum, be­ing only a part of a one unit sub­ject grouped with quails and other fowls.

CLSU is the Philip­pines’ world class Na­tional Univer­sity for sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy in agri­cul­ture and al­lied fields. Their Doc­tor of Ve­teri­nary Medicine (DVM) course is a six-year de­gree pro­gram con­sist­ing of a two-year prepara­tory (pre-vet) pe­riod and a four-year proper cur­ricu­lum. The pro­gram pro­vides the­o­ret­i­cal knowl­edge and prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence in an­i­mal pro­duc­tion and di­ag­no­sis, as well as in the preven­tion, treat­ment and con­trol of clin­i­cal dis­or­ders and dis­eases in pets and farm an­i­mals as well as wild and zoo an­i­mals

Ven­era­cion was in­vited to give the sem­i­nar un­der the sub­ject VMed 398 for se­nior stu­dents of the Col­lege of Ve­teri­nary Sci­ence and Medicine. Un­der VMed 398, re­source speak­ers on var­i­ous ve­teri­nary sub­jects are in­vited to up­date the stu­dents on cur­rent prac­tices in par­tic­u­lar fields out­side the academe.

Rab­bit farm­ing or rais­ing rab­bits for meat is still mostly un­fa­mil­iar, and only a few of the sem­i­nar at­ten­dees had tasted rab­bit meat through dishes cooked by “Kuya” Mark; those who had, how­ever, said they liked it. The stu­dents were more fa­mil­iar with rab­bits as pets. Aquino cited his mother as an ex­am­ple of the many Filipinos who are not yet sold on the idea of eat­ing rab­bit meat. He be­lieves they need more ex­po­sure to the idea and in­for­ma­tion on the health ben­e­fits of eat­ing rab­bit meat.

Ven­era­cion high­lighted how rab­bit farm­ing is fore­seen to be the next sun­shine in­dus­try, con­sid­er­ing that more peo­ple are tak­ing note of the ben­e­fits of rais­ing rab­bits. He said that rais­ing rab­bits

re­quires only a small space which may be lo­cated in an ur­ban or ru­ral area. The ven­ture re­quires only a small amount of cap­i­tal to put up, and the rab­bits do not com­pete with hu­mans for food; they can be raised on just grass and veg­etable scraps. The op­er­a­tions of a rab­bitry are also very clean and quiet; it is now con­sid­ered healthy to raise rab­bits, plus close to 90% of the rab­bit is us­able by man. Even rab­bit ma­nure is very use­ful; it is con­sid­ered black gold fer­til­izer by or­ganic farm­ers.

The stu­dents’ con­cerns were mostly about butch­ery pro­ce­dures and an­i­mal wel­fare. It was noted that present prac­tices and knowl­edge about rab­bitry were mostly drawn from the In­ter­net, and the facts and fig­ures are taken from prac­tices abroad.

Be­fore Ven­era­cion be­gan con­duct­ing his sem­i­nars on rab­bit farm­ing, no sem­i­nars were be­ing con­ducted on the topic when he started his rab­bitry; thus, he re­lied heav­ily on do­ing his own read­ing and re­search. He has taken it upon him­self to con­duct rab­bit farm­ing sem­i­nars to ben­e­fit those who will ven­ture into the in­dus­try. His lec­tures are drawn from the knowl­edge he has ac­cu­mu­lated and ver­i­fied through prac­tice at Aven Na­ture’s Farm. Best of all, he is shar­ing the record­ing sys­tems he has de­vel­oped—an im­por­tant as­pect of rab­bit rais­ing. With th­ese, costly mis­takes can be avoided, if not elim­i­nated, and more peo­ple will be en­cour­aged to ven­ture into rab­bit farm­ing.

Art ap­pre­ci­ates the fact that the CLSU VetMed stu­dents are now show­ing an in­ter­est to rab­bit farm­ing. Their train­ing will be of great use in es­tab­lish­ing stan­dards and prac­tices that are painfully lack­ing in the in­dus­try at present.

The Ve­teri­nary Medicine stu­dents who at­tended the rab­bit farm­ing sem­i­nar with Art and Angie Ven­era­cion.

Art Ven­era­cion (right photo) speak­ing be­fore the VetMed stu­dents of CLSU on rab­bit farm­ing.

Dr. Vir­ginia Ven­tu­rina of the Col­lege of Ve­teri­nary Sci­ence and Medicine de­liv­ered the open­ing state­ment and raised the idea of the stu­dents look­ing into the busi­ness of rab­bit farm­ing.

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