A total of 25 pigs have been rescued following an incident that occurred on a farm in Co. Antrim, yesterday, Saturday, February 1.

The livestock were rescued from a slurry pit when a beam – supporting the slatted floor in the shed – collapsed and the floor fell into the slurry pit bringing the pigs with it.

Speaking to AgriLand, Terence McCann, district commander for the Portadown Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) District commended the rescue crews for their work.

He explained that while 25 of the pigs were rescued safely, approximately 25 – 30 pigs were killed in the ordeal.

He outlined: “A rescue team entered the tank and took the pigs to safety one-by-one. A makeshift ramp was made into the slurry pit to assist in taking the pigs out of the tank.

These guys are on-call firefighters, they’re not full-time staff; some of them are farmers, some of them all come from different backgrounds.

“To commit the time and effort they do to train and commit themselves to do the job they do, I can only applaud them,” he concluded.

70 pigs rescued

In a separate incident last July, a pig farmer from Aghalee, Co. Antrim, suffered a similar ordeal when approximately 75 pigs fell into a slurry pit and 73 of them were saved.

At the time of the incident last year, the farmer explained to AgriLand that the concrete head, on which the slats were sitting, broke and gave way – causing two rows of slats to collapse and fall into the slurry tank below.