The North Carolina pork industry is ready for the approach of Hurricane Dorian and to respond as necessary to protect human health, animals and the environment. Surveying by the North Carolina Pork Council indicates that anaerobic treatment lagoons have been well managed through the crop-growing season and can receive the amounts of rain forecasted.
North Carolina hog farmers have seen about 20 hurricanes over the past 20 years. Farmers, veterinarians, environmental specialists and other experts have, working with state regulators and other partners, made tremendous strides in preparation for storms. These measures include the closure of more than 100 swine farms that were in flood-prone areas.
In recent hurricanes Matthew (2016) and Florence (2018) there were not widespread impacts to or from swine farms, as reported in post-storm assessments. In both of those record-breaking storms, more than 98% of the industry’s anerobic treatment lagoons did not have negative impacts. Swine losses were extremely low and isolated. Significant agricultural losses were concentrated in other sectors.
The NCPC urges caution by the media and the public regarding communications and information about hog farms and the hog industry. In recent past storm events, there were widespread erroneous photographs and reports about farms on social and mass media. (Major media outlets later issued corrections.)
Further background information is available on the NCPC website.