Nearly half a million hogs and sows at the largest pig farm in Chile are to be slaughtered after their meat processing plant was closed due to health concerns.
"They are going to be slaughtered. They are not going to another farm, nor to another plant," said José Guzman, chief executive of Agrosuper, which owns the premises, according to Agence France-Presse.
Roads leading from the town of Freirina — 500 miles north of Santiago — to the pig farm were cut off a week ago as residents protested against the smells coming from the slaughterhouse.
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After months of complaints, residents became angry and began rioting, reported BBC News. The riots culminated in last week's roadblocks, which didn't allow plant workers to enter, causing many pigs to die. The government then ordered the plant to be closed and declared a health alert, fearing overflowing waste could leak into drinking water.
According to AFP, Guzman said the pigs have to be slaughtered because 50,000 trucks would be required to move them and, regardless, no one was willing to take them.
Agrosuper said it is burying the already dead pigs in specially prepared pits and is having the site disinfected, reported BBC. The company has since admitted the slaughterhouse had problems with its ventilation system.