The Norwegian Food Safety Authority considers reporting pig farmer in Rogaland
Animal activists react strongly after the Norwegian Food Safety Authority found more than 100 dead animals at a farm in Time Municipality. The audit is considering reporting the pig farmer to the police.
– There are more than 100 animals. We do not want to quantify more precisely, but goes out with this figure to show that it is a big animal tragedy, says Head of Department in the Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet), Odd-Ivar Berget, to NTB.
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority’s veterinarians will assess what will happen to the remaining animals on the farm. Some will be destroyed because they are in a very poor condition, while others will be sent to be slaughtered.
– This is the most important job now, to secure the animals and to dismantle the operation. Afterwards, we will consider reporting to the police, as we always do in serious animal welfare cases, says Berget.
There were employees in the meat control at the Nortura slaughterhouse at Forus which last Friday sent a concern message to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. Animals that had come to slaughter from the stock at Time were in a very bad condition.
– It was employees in the meat control that control slaughter in the slaughterhouse, which alerted internally that there was cause for concern. They were right in their assesment, says Berget.
He says they considered the concern so serious that representatives from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority visited the farm the same day.
– On Friday we only saw parts of the stock but when visited once more on Monday, they found very many dead animals, says Berget.
Two pigs were in such a bad condition that they had to be killed immediately, says Stavanger Aftenblad. There was a lot of dirt in the pig pens, and the farmer was ordered to clean up immediately, as well as providing adequate food for the pigs.
According to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, we are talking about both piglets and slaughter pigs. The other animals on the farm seem to be in good condition.
– The farmer also has sheep on the farm, but so far we have not seen any reasonf for concern regarding the sheep, says Berget.
He says that the relevant farmer has not been in the Norwegian Food Safety Authority’s spotlight earlier.
– We were there two years ago, but at the time did not find grounds for concern, says the head of department.
– If we choose to report the pig farmer, it’s up to the police to find out what has happened. Now, we will initially work to get all the facts on the table and then decide if there will be filed a formal report, says Berget.
Dumped pigs in a field
This weekend, several dead pigs were detected on a field behind a farm in the district. A picture that showed 20-30 dead pigs lying in a pile, made the Norwegian Food Safety Authority respond. This is however not the same farm, says Stavanger Aftenblad.
– We have looked at the conditions on that farm and have not found anything that gives cause for concern, says Berget.
The Food Safety Authority believes in this farmer who has explained that the dead pigs were dumped in the field accidentally.
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority is responsible for supervising the keeping and transport of pigs in accordance with the rules on animal welfare, animal health and labeling. The supervision are to prevent animal cruelty and outbreaks of disease. It is the animal owner who is responsible for following the regulations.
Encourages reporting to the police
“It is serious when many animals suffer and die in commercial farming, and several of these cases should go to court,” says Siri Martinsen, veterinarian at NOAH. The animal welfare organization urges the Norwegian Food Safety Authority to file a police report. Martinsen points out that last year’s budget, Rogaland received funds for an own animal police department, and it should be a matter of course that they should be involved in the case.
NOAH also believes it is questionable to transport pigs from such a place in slaughter transport, and then expose them to further stress at the slaughterhouse.
– If the pigs can not live on, they should end life with the least amount of stress possible, says Martinsen.
The Animal Conservation Alliance also believes that the case is a serious animal tragedy that should be reported. They commend the Food Safety Authority to act quickly. To NRK, communications counselor Kaja Ringnes Efskind says that they will report the case to the police if the Norwegian Food Safety Authority does not.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today