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Chilean pigs disaster

News Section Icon Published 5/28/2012

Half a million pigs at risk of dying in factory farm in Chile

Many sources from all around the globe have been reporting that a mega pig factory farm, in Chile, is in huge trouble. Pigs are dying and the health of the community has been put at risk.

The pigs within the facility were left without food or water for five days. This was due to a riot started by local residents. The rioters, in the town of Freirina, had been complaining of serious detrimental health indicators such as severe headaches and stomach pains since September 2011.

It transpires that these may have been caused by major deficiencies in the management of biowaste within the plant. Despite several fines from the Health Authority, Agrosuper – the plant owner, had not taken the actions they had promised.

This situation came to a breaking point when the neighbors decided to take matters into their own hands and riot over the foul odors causing them such distress. It has been reported that roads were blockaded, preventing workers from entering the facility: hence pigs were left without food, water or other basic care, for days.

Emma Slawinski, Compassion’s Senior Campaigns Manager says: “There are so many factors involved in this horrendous situation. The impact that this is having on the pigs’ welfare, the health and disease risks to the local residents, the immense negative impact the factory farming of half a million pigs will have had on the environment – it is staggering, both in scale and severity.”

Chilean authorities have declared a health alert at the plant, following the deaths of large numbers of pigs. According to local news reports, sows are being ‘eliminated’ to prevent new litters from being born and Agrosuper is trying to move the pigs to another location. But this will just be moving the same problem to another place: factory farming is cruel to pigs, bad for the environment, and as has been proven in this situation, a health and disease risk.

Emma continues: “Compassion is looking to help resolve the crisis – to have an outcome with the best possible results for all involved: the helpless pigs, the pushed-to-their-limits neighbors and the workers involved.”

We will update you as and when we hear more on the situation.