Huge number of stock perish in Co. Laois piggery, as toll from storm Ophelia unfolds

It is believed that in the region of 1,500 pigs have perished on a farm in Co. Laois.

It is understood that the pigs died during storm Ophelia earlier this week. The exact cause is not known, though an electrical fault or outage is believed to have contributed to the unfortunate accident.

Though the precise number of pigs involved has not yet been confirmed, it is believed that the animals perished over a relatively short timescale. The piggery is thought to be located in the Arles area – or the close vicinity – of the county.

Elsewhere, power has been restored to more than 90% of the 360,000 homes, farms and businesses that lost power when the ex-hurricane, with wind speeds in excess of 150kph, hit the country earlier this week.

However, 42,000 homes, farms and businesses remain without power this morning. Many farmers are still grappling to power their farms and milking parlours; some are still using generators.

The aforementioned tragic incident in Co. Laois comes in the same week that Teagasc held its annual Pig Farmers’ Conference.

The two-day event, featuring a host of the sector’s top speakers, took place in counties Tipperary and Cavan. Presentations were heard on nutrition, pre-weaning mortality, insurance and farm investment.

Overseas accident

In a devastating, overseas pig-related accident, close to 20,000 pigs died in a huge fire on a Dutch farm near the village of Erichem in the province of Gelderland. That incident took place in July of this year.

Also Read: Video: 20,000 pigs die in devastating Dutch farm fire

It took multiple units of the local fire service to get the blaze under control, local publication Omroep Gelderland reported.

The smoke that was emitted from the fire could reportedly be seen up to 20 miles away. Local residents and people in the area were asked to remain indoors and close all windows and doors.

People in the area were also reportedly asked not to touch any soot particles, due to fears it may have contained asbestos.

Extensive damage was caused to the sheds, though no person is believed to have been injured in the incident.

The fire allegedly broke out in the barn where the pigs were kept; no animals were thought to have survived the blaze.

According to local reports, this was the second major fire to occur in a Dutch factory farm in the space of a month. Earlier that same month, approximately 80,000 chickens died in a similar fire.