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Linley Valley Pork assists DPIRD inspectors after hundreds of pigs allegedly die at supplier’s Wheatbelt farm

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Aidan SmithCountryman
DPIRD inspectors are at a piggery in the Central Wheatbelt where about 500 pigs have allegedly died.
Camera IconDPIRD inspectors are at a piggery in the Central Wheatbelt where about 500 pigs have allegedly died. Credit: Photography Project/Photography Project

One of WA’s biggest pork producers has sprung into action to help State Government officers manage an animal welfare situation at a grow-out facility owned by one of its suppliers in the Central Wheatbelt.

Linley Valley Pork, owned by the Craig Mostyn Group, has responded to a request from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to assist with immediate animal welfare challenges at a piggery in the Central Wheatbelt, where up to 500 pigs have allegedly died.

A company spokesman said Linley Valley had sent several qualified staff with significant piggery experience to work with DPIRD and the farmer to remedy the immediate animal welfare challenges at the site.

He said the incident had “shocked” the company, as the piggery involved was a grow-out facility and contract supplier to Linley Valley, which is the largest and only export accredited pig processing facility in WA.

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“Our company has a strong animal welfare ethos, so we were shocked at the animal welfare and mortality issues at the piggery,” he said.

“We are now working with DPIRD to design a longer-term solution.”

DPIRD animal welfare inspectors have reportedly been on site at the property for more than a week taking “appropriate steps to protect the welfare, safety and health of the animals on the property” after being alerted to the incident involving the management of pigs.

“DPIRD is conducting enquiries to thoroughly investigate the matter and taking appropriate actions to ensure the welfare of animals on the property,” a DPIRD spokeswoman said.

Immediate animal welfare issues were being addressed. The department was continuing to monitor the situation closely and would consider further action as required.

The spokeswoman said DPIRD was unable to comment further.

An Australia Pork Limited spokeswoman said the organisation supports best practice animal welfare and “we care about our pigs”.

“We also share the community’s concern for the welfare of our animals,” the spokeswoman said.

“The farm situation under investigation in Western Australia does not reflect the wider industry’s welfare standards.”

She said APL strongly condemns any behaviour that jeopardises pig health and welfare through mismanagement, incorrect use of infrastructure or through the mishandling of pigs.

“We fully support the DPIRD investigation and will continue to work with all stakeholders involved to ensure the highest standards of pig welfare continue to be upheld across the industry,” she said.

Cuballing pork producers Andrea and Graeme Dent.
Camera IconCuballing pork producers Andrea and Graeme Dent. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

WA Pork Producers Association president Graeme Dent said the industry was fully behind the animal welfare investigation and would support the outcome, whatever it was.

“It’s disturbing and there may be further repercussions out of this,” Mr Dent said.

“The industry is doing everything that it can to help.”

He said about 500 pigs were involved in the incident, although the investigation was ongoing and details were still coming to light.

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