Inspectors Resuscitate 3,200 Cows in Cuba’s Matanzas Province

The Cuban government continues its campaign to control livestock throughout the country

Livestock control has not been well received by many farmers / Cubadebate

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, July 5, 2024 — After beginning the livestock control exercise last March, the Matanzas authorities have reached a conclusion: the drop in the number of animals and the quantities of milk only occurred in state records. With 50% of the farmers and landowners inspected, the province has seen a recovery of 24.8% in the birth rate – 3,200 animals – and the option of demanding another 53,760 liters of milk from the farmers.

These indicators “express a response to control,” the official State newspaper Granma writes in an article published on Thursday. According to Roger Jiménez Ramos, deputy delegate for livestock in the province, 1,403 cases of missing animals, 12 undeclared births, 33 animals without a brand and 100 cases of illegal buying and selling have been detected so far.

For Jiménez, this is a reflection of the “lack of control” in the territory – which, according to the official press, extends to other provinces such as Las Tunas, Camagüey and Artemisa, where the authorities have even recorded cases of deceased people who are listed as owners of animals. So far, fines totaling 6,717,800 pesos have been applied, 33 animals have been confiscated and 39 have been forcibly purchased.

So far, fines totaling 6,717,800 pesos have been imposed, 33 animals have been confiscated and 39 have been forcibly purchased

“Of course, not everything is easy to explain. For example, there are producers who are missing two animals, but who at the time went to the Police to report these losses and, for various reasons, do not have the receipt in their possession to justify this situation. There are others who live very far from the Livestock Registry, and it is are more difficult for them to register or mark the animals,” admits the official, who foresees that the state control commissions must be prepared to offer better contract conditions to the ranchers.

Although the livestock census has not been well received by many farmers, who have been restricted for months from selling their animals or freely trading their produce, the authorities insist on their purpose: “The most important thing about this exercise of control, in our opinion, is that, thanks to greater order and discipline, a slowdown in the decline of the mass is now perceptible, a sign that had not been visible for a long time.” In other words, products (animals in this case) that the Government considers “diverted” have been brought back to the state coffers.

Granma also tries to show the most revolutionary side of the campesinos, interviewing cattle ranchers who agree with the registry, even if they have been penalized. “One of the most prominent farmers in the province, Miguel Cobo, was forced to pay 75,000 pesos, because at the time of the count he was missing six animals.”

The farmer paid, assuming responsibility for not having the documents that indicated the legal sale of the cattle

The farmers paid, assuming responsibility for not having the documents indicating the legal sale of the cattle, but the irregularity could perhaps have been avoided with better police surveillance on the farm. “Every day they killed a cow, they even slaughtered my team of oxen, and it is not possible to raise cattle like this,” Cobo claims.

Another testimony is that of Edismar Galán Quesada, leader of a cooperative, who, despite being in favor of the control, believes that the same effort could be devoted to containing the thieves. “The producers complain a lot because the necessary action is not taken with the necessary agility and firmness against theft and slaughter. There are those who file a complaint, sometimes they even catch the thief, and in the end nothing out of the ordinary happens. There is still a lot of benevolence on that point,” he declares.

He also complains about non-payments by state-owned Acopio companies, which sometimes delay up to 40 days after the deadline. “Another thing is that sometimes the thermos does not have a lacto-densimeter to measure the density of the milk and, then, Ecil (the Dairy Products Company of the province) violates the payment as established to our detriment,” he laments.

However, these are secondary issues for the authorities, who assure that “there is nothing worse than lack of control, which generally has a high cost.” In the case of Matanzas, private livestock accounts for 82.9% of the livestock, 80.5% of the cows and 88% of the total milk production. Therefore, officials estimate that the supervision of these resources will allow the State “to have real data at hand to know what exists in the countryside, and what we have.” Or, in other words, to make the products circulate once again, and exclusively, through official channels.

See also:
Dead owners
“Cow slaughter
“Cows disappear”


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