LOCAL officials in Uttaradit's Thong Saen Khan district have called on higher authorities to apply the Animal Welfare Act when inspecting and approving a plan for the "world's largest" snake farm in the area.
Pisit Wongthong, vice president of Tambon Namphi Administrative Organisation, said the Bt300-million snake farm was being built on a 163-rai site in Namphi, and the owner was applying for a permit at Protected Area Regional Office 11 in Phitsanulok province. A public forum is due to be held on tomorrow.
Pisit said he had learnt that the farm has already started breeding 1,000 snakes and raising 10,000 mice to feed the snakes. The issue that concerns locals, he said, was whether breeding mice to be fed to snakes violates the 2014 Animal Welfare Act.
So, he said, related authorities should investigate the project as soon as possible.
“People are wondering why the authorities have been delaying the investigation. Isn’t breeding mice to feed snakes a form of animal abuse? If there is a misunderstanding, then the related agencies should explain it to the public,” Pisit said.
Wisut Sarapat, chief of Uttaradit Provincial Livestock Office, said feeding snakes with live mice caused unnecessary trauma to the animal and violates Sections 3 and 20 of the Animal Welfare Act – which is punishable by up to two years in jail and/or a fine of up to Bt40,000.
However, Wisut said he could not take any legal action against the farm owner without authority from the Livestock Development Department chief.