Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Suffocation of 1500 pigs another sign of perils of Industrial Style Hog Barns

Sows in steel crates.
(Winnipeg) - Hog Watch Manitoba has learned of a recent incident in which all of the 1500 pigs in one barn suffocated when the ventilation system failed. Most pigs raised in this province live in closed barns on slatted floors above pits containing their own urine and feces. This creates high levels of ammonia and sulfur dioxide. If the ventilation system in the barn fails the buildup of noxious gases in combination with lack of oxygen causes suffocation within a couple of hours.
“This is simply one more example of the inhumane conditions that we are forcing these animals to live in” says Vicki Burns, Hog Watch Manitoba. “We have contacted Manitoba Pork to ask for information about this incident but have received no response to date. Without cooperation of industry we are not able to determine what caused this problem but it may be related to the deterioration of fire safety as the alarm system obviously failed.”
Hog Watch Manitoba is calling on the industry to significantly change the way animals are housed. If the animals were housed in open air barns on straw rather than slatted floors above pits containing their own waste, these horrible deaths would not have occurred.
Hog Watch Manitoba is a coalition of farmers, environmentalists, friends of animals and concerned public who are promoting a more sustainable way of raising pigs in Manitoba.
For More Information Contact:
Vicki Burns, 204-489-3852
Fred Tait, 204-252-2153

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