Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pigs are big... business that is

Hog production has grown from a local farming business to a major corporate business in North Carolina. It provides thousands of jobs and produces a large contribution to the state economy and country's food supply and also continues to have considerable impact on the environment in the state.

As cited in the N&O editorial out March 20, 2007, "It's true that Smithfield, its subsidiaries and other producers have stepped smartly away from some of the worst farming practices of their early days. Hog lagoons are now less susceptible to overflows, more care is taken with the spraying of effluent onto fields, and waste-related nitrogen is less likely to pollute streams."

But there is much yet to accomplish to reduce impact on the environment near these production facilities and more needs to be done before allowing major producers to continue expanding and increasing the effects of wastes and insure the environment is protected.

Read the full report...

News and Observer
March 20, 2007

Swine time
Smithfield Foods seeks to boost production at its big Bladen County slaughterhouse. Let's have a cleanup first

Pigs are big here. Fueled by phenomenal growth in the 1980s and '90s, this mass-production industry stretches across Eastern North Carolina from sows' confined breeding pens to the world's biggest pork factory. With 19 percent of America's pigs, we're the second-ranking swine state behind Iowa. There are more pigs (nearly 10 million) than Tar Heels.

Yes, pigs are big, and after a shaky start tainted by environmental catastrophes and public complaints, it looks as if the industry is here to stay. But if we're going to live with this business, the business must become easier to live with. Read more...

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