June 26, 2008


Proposal for large-scale, modernized pig farm comes under scrutiny in New Zealand

A proposed NZ$25 million (US$18.9 million) pig farm has come under scrutiny in New Zealand as animal rights activists object vociferously to the idea prior to a crucial decision by local authorities.


The farm is located near Foxton, a city in the lower west coast of the North Island of New Zealand.


Pork Industry Board director Colin Kay, representing Coastal Lakes Station, has applied to local authorities Horowhenua District Council and Horizons Regional Council to farm up to 4800 breeding sows on about 20 hectares of a 1592 hectare farm.


If approved, it will be one of the biggest pig farms in New Zealand, with up to 45,000 pigs. The application includes a proposal to discharge effluent on to the farm for 25 years.


Buildings proposed include breeding and growing units, a grain silo complex and feed mill.


The farm was chosen for its relative isolation and low-fertile, free-draining sandy soil. There are three lake-wetland areas within or partly within the property.


The company says effluent produced at the piggery will be collected in drains under the buildings, which will be flushed daily to a biodigester and treated.


Once treated, the effluent would be used as liquid manure and spread on paddocks.


The farm would be computer controlled, with automated feeding, ventilation and drain-flushing, Kay said.


The application will be heard by both councils within the month.

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