QCOSTARICA – On June 23, Arnoldo Zuniga, along with a large group of pig farmers, protested outside of Casa Presidencial (Government House) in Zapote.
That day, as part of the agreement, the farmers gave President Luis Guillermo Solis a pig.
“It will be at Casa Presidencial, will be the ‘first pet’ of the Republic. I don’t know if there is any other country with a pig being the national pet, but if Obama has dogs and a turkey at the end of the year, I have a pig,” said Solis back on that day in June.
The pig was promptly named ‘daniela’.
Six months later, the Spanish language newspaper, La Prensa Libre, took on the task of visiting ‘daniela’ and know her current situation. Journalist Jarmon Noguera travelled to Cartago to visit daniela, at the Arnoldo farm.
In the interview, Don Arnoldo told Noguera he gave the President the pig so that he (Solis) would it know what it takes to care for an animal and that the meat cannot be sold cheaply for as much as he would like us so. The June protest was over the government’s policy on pork prices.
According to the farmer, as good intentioned was the idea of keeping daniela at Casa Presidencial, red tape made it impossible.
According to Arnoldo, “they contacted us on how to care for her, but neither the Senasa (the national animal health service) nor the Ministry of Health gave permission for the pig to be kept at Casa Presidencial, so we took her in until further notice.”
Asked whether the President has come to visit daniela, Don Arnoldo says he has no further communications with Casa Presidencial and the President has never come to check on her.
“I hope she remains here, see her give birth and have a party with the litter, it would be big news, the piglets of the presidential sow.”
Don Arnoldo says he comes from a family of cattle and pork traders since he was a small kid, doing a little bit of everything, his farm now devoting more in dairy products.
Perhaps, for daniela’s sake, President Solis will take some time from his eight day holiday to visit the abandoned pig.