The Municipal Council of Mahinog on Monday passed on third and final reading an ordinance prohibiting grazing of animals in the rice paddies belonging to another.
Councilor Valentin F. Babanto, who is the principal author of the ordinance, said this measure was in answer to the resounding clamor of rice farmers.
He said it has been observed that after the rice harvest, animals such as carabao (water buffalo), horse, and cows are left freely to graze in the rice paddy causing major damage to rice fields.
"This practice (allowing animals to graze freely on rice farm) often caused major damage to pilapil (narrow mud barrier)," he said.
It will also potentially expose a person to foot injuries when bamboos and branches of trees used as stake (lagdok) in tying their animals are left un-removed and remained under muddy ground.
Vice Mayor Rogerio C. Acle, the presiding officer of the Municipal Council of Mahinog said the ordinance will still be transmitted to the Office of Mayor Alex R. Jajalla for final approval.
Once signed by the Mayor, it will be unlawful for any person to graze or herd their carabao, cows, goats, horses or any other animals on the rice paddies or property belonging to another.
Owners or keepers when grazing their animals must ensure their animals do not stray outside and cause damage to neighboring farms.
If an animal caused damage on neighboring farms, owner is required to repair the damage done by his animal, without prejudice to the penalty imposed in this ordinance.
Any person violating this ordinance shall be fined one hundred pesos (P100.00) for the first offense; two hundred pesos (P200.00) for the second offense; three hundred pesos (P300.00) for the third and succeeding offenses.