Blantyre Farms has put forward a development application for an intensive farm (also known as a factory farm), which will imprison 2,200 sows and have a total capacity for 25,000 individuals. The pig farm will consist of a breeder site with 5 sheds and a grower site with 16 sheds.
At a time of rapid global animal agriculture disease spread, heightened concern about the treatment of highly social and intelligent sentient beings, the climate emergency including unprecedented environmental devastation, and public health pandemics, without question, the new Blantyre Farms plans for intensive piggery expansion must be vigorously challenged and opposed.
Australia currently has 2,700 pig farms, 90% of which are intensive, and slaughters 5,000,000 4-6 month-old pigs every year. Sows are either confined to stalls barely bigger than their bodies, or cramped in a pen with dozens of others. Being intelligent creatures, both situations cause them immense stress, frustration, and boredom.The mothers are then transferred into farrowing crates, where they are unable to move or tend to their babies. In the wild, a pregnant sow would seek out an isolated place to give birth and build a nest to ensure her babies are comfortable. Their motherly instincts are completely denied in a factory farm.
Intensive animal factory farms result in significant negative environmental risks and impacts to our unique rural landscapes. Such instances have included run off, soil, and groundwater contamination, explosions and fires, and impacts to biodiversity which often result in large scale animal suffering and losses, serious biosecurity risks, and impacts to human health, other land owners, and other animals.
According to the Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand, the minimum effluent production for intensive piggeries is about 100 litres per sow per day. This effluent contains elevated levels of volatile (organic) solids, nutrients and salts, strong disinfectants via the wash water, and veterinary chemicals including growth promotants and antibiotics . At full capacity, 25,000 pigs (sows, piglets, weaners, and growers) we can estimate around 2,000,000 litres of pig effluent each day. The proposal states it will require 60 Mega-Litres of water, that is 60,000,000L of water every year.
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