New Zealand pig farmer Robert Dawson has been not only fined, but cut off from a supply of grocery store scraps he was feeding his beloved but muddy friends.
The Taranaki Regional Council of New Zealand recently sent investigators to Dawson’s farm. Regional council officers “revealed a significant amount of decayed vegetable waste” discharging from three low lying areas draining to the river. This, despite previous abatement notices issued to the farmer to comply with new regulations which require reduced runoff, reports said.
In a report to the regional committee, resource management manager Fred McLay said the latest complaint against the farmer was that his pig slop seeped from a poorly fenced paddock, where the pigs were kept.
Dawson, who has a proud history of hog farming, has been accused of animal neglect and non-compliance. He was fined $ 6000 for animal neglect in 2016 when his herd was up to twelve pigs. (He now has six pigs) He had been fined for complaints of a strong odor coming from his farm.
His wife, Liz Dawson, said the allegations were false and highly sensationalized. The couple refused to discuss the incident.
Pigs Allowed To Wallow In Mud
Dawson stated that he was ‘slowing down” on his piggery after neighbors continued to complain about odor and runoff. Neighbour Murray Sandford said pigs were neglected and “wallowed” in the mud at the property. “The place is tidier than it was, it is improving but there is still a powerful smell and it’s still an eyesore,” other neighbors said.
The family pig farm sits next to the Waiwhakaiho River and in February the Dawsons were fined $750 by the council after heavy rains forced water from his piggery into the Waiwhakaiho River.
Dawson was also fined $300 in March for burning rubbish as he attempted to clean up his farm. Some neighbors complained about smoke drifting across their properties.
According to the regional council, Dawson has also been retrieving out-dated food and scraps from local grocery stores to feed his six pigs. Three area supermarkets were ordered to stop supplying food scraps to Dawson or face fines and possible imprisonment. The message is clear: help this New Zealand Pig Farmer and we’ll drax you up.
Unidentified sources claim Dawson was illegally collecting scraps like bread, vegetables and fruit from the stores and then feeding them to his pigs, often at night so he wouldn’t get caught.