Story By: Lisa-Maria Goertz, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
These are the shocking aerial drone images of huge faecal pits at two pig farms in Mexico which have been denounced as an environmental catastrophe by activists who warn the waste could contaminate the water supply.
The international organisation Animal Equality has published a report called “The Enemy of the Planet”, which includes drone footage over two industrial pig farms in the eastern Mexican state of Jalisco.
According to the press statement from Animal Equality, the farms house 89,000 pigs and the waste from the animals causes high levels of toxic contamination.
The press statement highlights the problem of the “slurry pits”, huge open-air pools near the farms where animal faeces accumulate.
The huge pits can be seen in the images, appearing as pools of waste.
These pits often break or overflow in storms, causing the over-fertilisation of agricultural soil which poses a growing environmental and public health risk due to the contamination of drinking water by nitrates.
The problem is seen around the world, and in the Spanish region of Catalonia, a study showed how nitrate contamination exceeds the legal limit in 41 percent of aquifers.
The executive director of Animal Equality, Silvia Barquero said: “The concentration of the pig industry in certain regions, especially in Catalonia, represents a serious environmental and public health problem due to the contamination of aquifers with nitrates and phosphates due to over-fertilisation of agricultural soil.”
One report found that the more than 31 million pigs surveyed in Spain in 2019 produced 61 million cubic metres (200 million cubic feet) of slurry, which would fill 24,000 Olympic swimming pools.
As part of the current investigation, Animal Equality Mexico says they have filed four complaints against the Mexican farms for acts and omissions that could cause ecological imbalance and environmental damage.
The organisation are also calling for the definitive closure of the farms, as well as the revocation of their permits, licenses and authorisations of operation, as well as the reparation of the damage they have caused.
The statement goes on to say that this is not an isolated incident and that a recent inspection by the State Attorney’s Office for Environmental Protection (PROEPA) led to the temporary partial closure of some farms.
The Executive Director of Animal Equality Mexico, Dulce Ramirez, said: “Industrial livestock farming grows like a maelstrom, devastating everything in its path, contaminating soils and waters, creating greenhouse gases that unleash catastrophic natural phenomena, it is the cause of diseases that end in pandemics and the greater suffering towards animals, we need to stop all these risks once and for all.
According to national newspaper Sin Embargo, statistics show that 12,000 litres of water are needed to produce 1 kilogramme (2.2 lbs) of pork.
According to digital outlet The Conversation, farming livestock contributes around 6 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere each year and represent up to 18 percent of global emissions.
According to Animal Equality Mexico, in Mexico alone, more than 1.8 billion animals are killed for human consumption each year, animals which spend their entire lives confined, subjected to atrocious and cruel practices and end up in the slaughterhouse.
There is no further information about whether the farms have responded to the complaints or if inspections are being made.
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.