WA pork industry still waiting for answers four weeks after mass pig deaths reported at Narrogin farm

Aidan SmithCountryman
A commercial piggery
Camera IconA commercial piggery Credit: AAP

WA’s $130 million pork industry is still waiting for answers four weeks after an investigation was launched into alleged animal welfare failures at a Wheatbelt piggery where up to 500 pigs are believed to have died.

State animal welfare inspectors are yet to conclude the month-long investigation, and no charges have been laid against the property owner after news broke about the deaths on July 3.

The property is understood to be a privately owned grow-out facility supplying the state’s largest pig processor, Linley Valley Pork.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development inspectors have been on site at the piggery since it was alerted to the incident.

Countryman understands at least some of the pigs had died due to issues relating to their management, with reports respiratory issues and recent cold temperatures may have contributed to the deaths.

Experts from Linley Valley Pork were called on to assist with the management of pigs on farm while the investigation continues, with multiple staff are also still on site.

A DPIRD spokeswoman said investigators were “continuing to conduct inquiries to thoroughly investigate the matter” before any further decisions or announcements were made.

“DPIRD is unable to provide any further comment or details,” she said.

The WA pork industry is expecting DPIRD to take some time with the investigation to ensure it covers off properly on understanding and examining all matters related to the incident, especially if charges are to be laid.

WA Pork Producers Association president Graeme Dent said the industry supported a thorough investigation, but he wouldn’t comment until further details were available.

Animal welfare across the nation’s pig industry has been in the spotlight in recent months after 7.30 Report published footage obtained by animal activists showing the process of carbon dioxide stunning before being killed.

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