In Cuba, the Dead Are Owners of Livestock To Avoid State Controls

In Pinar del Río, inspectors detect 1,900 “illegalities” in livestock and 6,800 in land tenure

Pinar del Río only has 18 livestock control inspectors / Cubadebate

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 26 June 2024 — Within the “exercise of control” over agricultural and livestock production carried out by the Cuban Government since March, the results for Pinar del Río, whose turn it has been these days, follow the trend of the whole country. According to the official state newspaper Granma this Wednesday, in the western province a total of 1,900 “illegalities” were recorded in the livestock sector and 6,800 in the use and ownership of land. “The main irregularities have been related to missing animals, undeclared births and people who have died and continue to appear in the records as owners of livestock,” explained Lázara García, head of the Department of Genetics and Livestock Registry of that territory. She did not detail, however, what those “irregularities” consist of.

The “serious difficulties in the control of livestock” in the municipality are due, she added, to the fact that Pinar del Río “only has 18 livestock control inspectors to serve a universe of more than 21,700 producers.” This makes one hundred percent inspection “impossible.”

“The main irregularities have been related to missing animals and undeclared births

The official explained that in the territory, according to the records, “there are 209,532 head of cattle and 71,900 horses, but in practice the figures may be very different.” Regarding land, she stressed that the main irregularities among the more than 9,600 tenants visited lie in illegal constructions, whose number is more than 4,000.

Since March 1, the Ministry of Agriculture has been carrying out a special control – which will continue until September 30 – to quantify the number of cattle in the country and thus “have a characterization of the current situation of the sector in Cuba.”

The previous control reported by the official press was in Las Tunas, where 26% of the farmers – about 20,000 – refuse to deliver their agricultural products to the State. Since the beginning of the year, progress in solving this situation has been “tiny.”

Meanwhile, data from the Government indicate that, until before this exercise, in the country there were more than 200,000 people, natural and legal, who own cattle and buffalo, and about 167,000 who have horses. To have current data, the ministry visits producers, owners and contracted workers within the sector and aspires to have an adequate counting of animal stocks, depleted by the alarming increase in theft and slaughter.

While these exercises are being carried out, slaughter and the private sale of meat are paralyzed; only deliveries contracted with the state sector are maintained

While these exercises are being carried out, slaughter and the private sale of meat are paralyzed; only deliveries contracted with the state sector are maintained. This limitation is significantly affecting the supply of beef in private businesses and on-line stores, which have more frequently resorted to imports to satisfy demand.

According to the latest Statistical Yearbook, published in 2023 with data from the previous year, there were 947,300 horses on the Island and 3,516,400 cattle, a figure that contrasts with the 6 million that were counted in the country in 1958. The next census is predicted to show poorer figures than those of last year.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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