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Friday, June 19, 2015

Fire in NSW piggery kills 2500 animals ...

Pig farming is the raising and breeding of domestic pigs. It is a branch of animal husbandry. Pigs are raised principally as food (e.g. pork, bacon, gammon) and sometimes for their skin.Pigs are amenable to many different styles of farming.  In some countries,  commercial farms house thousands of pigs in climate-controlled buildings.

Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reactionproducts. The flame is the visible portion of the fire. Fire in its most common form can result in conflagration, which has the potential to cause physical damage through burning.

For a commoner, fire [not the one in kitchen] is often destructive.  We come across instances of fire destroying property.  For Insurer, it is a major product in Commercial insurance.  In India, we presently have the ‘Standard Fire and Special Perils Policy’ which offers protection against Fire and other allied perils.  Earlier, we had Fire Policy A, B & C.  The subject matter of insurance – can be : Building; Plant & Machinery and stocks.  While stocks is a general nomenclature, depending on the nature of occupation, this could be inanimate and sometimes animate things too !

There is news of thousands of  pigsdying  from heat stress at a piggery in Australia.  Sydney Morning Herald and other newspapers appreciate the efforts of a farmhand who risked his life even as 2500 pigs perished in a shed inferno.  This occurred in a farm known as Wonga Piggery in New Southwales.  The fire, believed to have been started by an electrical fault, destroyed about 70 per cent of the 120-metre shed in which the pigs were housed.

A  farmhand who came across the blaze at the Wonga Piggery in Moppity Road risked his life to save another 1500 animals.He managed to save the pigs by prising open a door of the shed against the heat.   The blaze, believed to have started from an electrical fault, took rural fire brigades more than an hour to bring under control.  The man who saw the blaze raised an alarm and prised open the door saving thousands.  The farmhand's heroism has been praised but the farm's staff and owners remain shattered by the loss of life."It's a catastrophic event for them," said Australian Pork representative Emily Mackintosh, who spoke on behalf of the business.

Wonga piggery became an inferno making it fiery hell for 2500 pigs and causing financial loss to its owner.  The massive loss of livestock follows the deaths of 500 pigs at a piggery in Grong Grong in February, when an air-conditioning system in the shed in which they were housed broke down.Ms Mackintosh said piggery staff spent most of Wednesday ensuring the fire didn't spread throughout the facility, focusing on the safety of the surviving pigs and mopping up."The EPA doesn't allow them to dispose of the carcasses on site so they will be transporting them to a landfill about an hour out of Young," she said.A vet and a biosecurity officer attended the scene of the fire and euthanised 33 injured pigs.

"Unfortunately, at this stage, it hasn't been confirmed but we're looking at around 2500 pigs lost," Riverina Local Land Services biosecurity and emergency services manager Ray Willis said. He said that land services staff left the property at 11am and were awaiting clearance from police forensic investigators to return to help with the clean-up."We'll also provide advice on the appropriate disposal and reducing the disease risk of the carcasses," Mr Willis said.

Young police Inspector Ashley Holmes said there was nothing to indicate the fire was suspicious.Australian Pork is working with the piggery management to provide counselling.The MP for the area and former NSW primary industries minister Katrina Hodgkinson - who has had many dealings with the Wonga Piggery owners - said she was devastated to learn of the loss and passed on her deepest condolences.Elise Burgess, spokeswoman for animal protection institute Voiceless, said: "This is a tragic event, which represents an unacceptable failure to ensure animal welfare and shows a clear lack of duty of care."It is heartbreaking to imagine the pain and fear these animals would have felt before they burnt to death.

"On factory farms, it is standard practice to lock thousands of sentient creatures in barns without adequate monitoring systems. "These housing conditions meant that, when fire broke out, thousands of pigs were trapped and were unable to escape a painful death. This incident proves once again that these brutal confinement systems have no place in Australian farming."The owner might get financial compensation, provided the farm was adequately insured, but for the animals, it is tragic death – though they were raised to die later….

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th June 2015.

Inputs largely reproduced from smh.com.au.

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