Pig-rearing in urban areas is a land-use issue which comes under the Central Housing and Planning Authority

Dear Editor,
I refer to the letter in the Stabroek News of March 3, 2009 on the subject of ‘Is it permissible to rear pigs in urban areas?’ and your request for comments thereon from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

On the date the letter was published in the Stabroek News, EPA received correspondence from Mr Aditnarine Persaud, formally requesting assistance from the agency to do an inspection and issue a report on the findings regarding “the rearing of pigs in close proximity to his dwelling house.” Submitted with Mr Persaud’s correspondence were copies of a number of letters to and from various persons on the issue. I did not see among the letters any to or from the Central Housing and Planning Authority and as far as I am aware, Mr Persaud’s letter received on March 3, 2009 was the first time the matter was brought to the attention of the agency.

While Mr Persaud is seeking answers to a number of questions reflected in his letter in the Stabroek News, he did not reveal to the public that the matter had engaged the attention of the court and there is already a ruling. This information was, however, reflected in his correspondence to the agency, but a copy of the Order from the court to that effect was not included therewith. If indeed the matter was dealt with by the court, the agency would find it difficult to comment on the questions posed by Mr Persaud, especially since he has indicated that he intends to appeal the matter which implies that it would become sub judice.

Without prejudice to any court ruling on the matter, activities such as pig-rearing in urban areas pertain to land-use planning and zoning and this is the responsibility of the Central Housing and Planning Authority. In addition, the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) in the particular area would need to give its ‘No-Objection’ for anyone to pursue such activity within the jurisdiction of the NDC. Mr Persaud would, therefore, need to pursue the issue of the permissibility of pig rearing in urban areas with these entities, to which the matter would be formally referred for their attention.

We, however, would like to advise the public that in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act No. II of 1996, Part V, Section 19(1) (a) a person shall not: “undertake an activity that causes or is likely to cause pollution of the environment, unless the person takes all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent or minimize any resulting adverse effect. Any person who contravenes this provision of the Act shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to the penalty of a fine of not less than three hundred thousand dollars nor more than seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars and imprisonment for one year.”

We trust that our comments, clarification and advice herein would be appreciated.
Yours faithfully,
Doorga Persaud
Executive Director
Environmental Protection Agency

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