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CIWF Steps in to Help in Chilean Pig Farm Crisis

31 May 2012

CHILE - Animal welfare organisation Compassion in World Farming has stepped in to offer help to the beleaguered pig complex at Freirina in Chile.

CIWF said that the mega pig factory farm in Chile is in huge trouble, as pigs have been 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, because of a riot started by local residents, in the town of Freirina, who had been complaining of serious detrimental health symptoms such as severe headaches and stomach pains since September 2011.

Philip Lymbery, CEO at Compassion in World Farming said: "This appalling case is further evidence that factory farming is not just an animal cruelty issue - people and the planet are hugely impacted as well. The immense negative impact that the factory farming of half a million pigs will have had on the environment, and the local residents' health, is staggering, both in scale and severity."

CIWF said that the problems 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 head when the neighbours decided to take matters into their own hands and riot over the foul odours 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.

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 has declared that it will not be moving the pigs to another location but will be slaughtering all the remaining pigs, CIWF said.

Mr Lymbery added: "Compassion is looking to help resolve the crisis - to achieve an outcome with the best possible results for all involved, ensuring the welfare of these pigs is treated as a priority and that local residents are securely protected from any pollution. We want to ensure that such a calamity does not arise again."

CIWF added that there is a grave risk of further air and water pollution. Unmanaged waste has built up while the plant has been closed. Compassion is worried this could result in an overflow into the local environment leading to water contamination.

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