Global animal welfare charity PETA has joined the campaign against plans to build an industrial scale pig farm near Limavady.
Thousands have already signed a petition against the proposed pig farm and the campaign has picked up high profile supporters, such as Downton Abbey star and notable animal welfare campaigner Peter Egan, who plays the ‘Shrimpie’ in the popular TV series.
The industrial scale pig farm plans, which would see the biggest pig farm anywhere in the UK built just outside Limavady, have been lodged with the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council for planning approval.
Kirsty Henderson, who is co-ordinating the campaign against the pig farm for PETA, said: “PETA is calling on the council to reject the application. It would be imprisoning 20,000 pigs and condemning them to a life of hell. These are sentient creatures - as intelligent as dogs - and pigs on factory farms are confined to their cells and a miserable life.
“Pigs are sentient and intelligent animals - we cannot treat them as commodities so that we can eat their flesh.
“Pigs raised intensively for the meat industry are kept in dark, crowded sheds for their entire lives. They may be mutilated without painkillers – for example, having their tails chopped off or holes punched in their ears – and sent to a terrifying death in the abattoir when they’re just months old.
“Pigs are sensitive, interesting and as intelligent as dogs. Yet, if this farm goes ahead, thousands of them will suffer for every minute of their short lives.
“The animal cruelty with this pig farm is horrendous but there are also environmental concerns with farms such as this one. The noise, pollution and carbon dioxide emissions will be enormous.
“There will be two slurry lagoons, we are talking about lakes of faeces here, so it is no wonder local people are rallying to stop the farm being built.
“We really do need local people to object to this - they need to take their objections to the council.”