At least 2k pigs, including tiny little piglets died a horrible writhing death in narrow pens after a lethal fire engulfed parts of a swine farrowing house at Northern Ireland.
The blaze has left the Kilkeel farmer and owner of the facility ‘devastated ‘ after at least 2000 mother pigs and piglets were charred to death.
Firefighters reportedly arrived on the spot on Monday, and tried to battle the fire from spreading however could not save the 140 pigs, including little piglets from burning to death.
A heartbreaking image from a portion of the farm that was set ablaze shows rows of pens where pigs were trapped with their numerous piglets, and in the aftermath of the incident, all that remains are charred ashes.
According to the Glen Marshall Pedigree Pig shed-owner Trevor Shields, the incident is very emotional and difficult for him to talk about, BBC reports.
Swine farrowing houses like this in North Ireland station hundreds of sows and are essentially maternity wards for mother pigs who are often kept in decapitated conditions.
While getting burnt to death is every-bit macabre, sooner or later pigs in such facilities meet a dooming fate, including the piglets; after vicious cycles of birthing, and dripping every drop of vital force from their lives these highly intelligent animals are eventually slaughtered for meat.
Mr shield says the fire most likely must have started from an electrical fault and the state fire department is reportedly treating the incident as an accident.
“The losses are quite substantial,” Mr. Shields says, “because this is one of the top breeding farms in Europe and there are bloodlines that have just been wiped away.”
The NI Fire and Rescue Service arrived on spot on 20:54 BST and by 23:50 BST four fire engines bought the blaze under control.
Here’s what some Twitter-users are saying about the incident
“Imagine the reaction if this had been a dog shelter,” a Twitter user wrote. “This is #heartbreaking news I can only imagine the horrific pain and suffering that the thousands of pigs and piglets endured #lostforwords,” wrote another user.
Devastating incidents like these are an eye-opener for sure about the vulnerabilities of animals in factory farms, but the real fact is ‘livestock’ systematically suffer tremendously throughout the course of their lives in commercial facilities until they’re killed for meat and more.