Westpork gets approval to build a boar semen facility at Bullsbrook

Headshot of Jenne Brammer
Jenne BrammerThe West Australian
Westpork’s application to build the facility has been given the green light.
Camera IconWestpork’s application to build the facility has been given the green light. Credit: Danella Bevis

WA’s biggest pork producer has been given the green light to build an artificial insemination centre at Bullsbrook, but animal activists are putting up a fight.

Westpork’s application to build the facility was rejected by the City of Swan last year, but was approved by the council last month following mediation in the State Administrative Tribunal.

Construction of the $1.6 million centre —- which includes a 77m x 23.35m ventilated shed on a 60ha leased block at Gaston Road — will begin in the second half of the year.

Up to 188 boars will be housed at the centre, and semen will be collected by Westpork for use in its own piggeries and for distribution to other pork production businesses across Australia.

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Neil Ferguson, chief executive of Westpork, said Bullsbrook was a strategic location at the centre of its piggery network and the broader WA industry.

Westpork has piggeries across WA, including Gingin, Serpentine and Kojonup, and has started work on a $28m facility at Moora.

Animal activists continue to lobby against the City’s approval of the facility.

Perth vegan activist Emma Madle has started a change.org petition against the facility, to be delivered to the City of Swan, which has more than 12,500 signatures.

Ms Madle said the decision goes against the wishes of the community, citing that 227 of the 234 public submissions objected the proposal.

Westpork now produces almost 400,000 pigs a year — about half of WA’s current production.

In fiscal year 2019 the private company posted an $8.28m profit after tax, according to filings with the corporate watchdog.

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