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North Carolina Pork Council responds to 'aerial detectives'

National Pork Board Edward's Farm North Carolina.jpg
Location of every permitted hog farm in North Carolina is well-known and documented.

The start of the new year brought with it another attack on North Carolina's pork industry. This one arrived in the form of a 16-minute video from an online outfit called Vox. It produced the video with money from an activist group staunchly opposed to animal agriculture.

Less than forty seconds into the video, the media producer hops into a small Cessna with a leader of the Waterkeeper Alliance. The airplane trip, the video explains, is necessary to really see the hog farms.

Otherwise, "you don't even know they're there," says the Waterkeeper. His goal is to make the case that North Carolina farms are hidden, or that something nefarious is taking place on farms shielded from view.

But the location of every permitted hog farm in North Carolina is well-known and documented, the North Carolina Pork Council says. You can find them on Google, or by driving through the eastern North Carolina countryside. NC Pork says it's true that not all hog farms are easily visible — most were built on family land along the back roads, and many are buffered by trees and forests (which is an industry best practice).

NC Pork points out many don't know the farms are there as there are not strong odors to give away the location, so as the activist explains, you have to take to the air to see the pinkish lagoons situated on the farms.

The video goes on to make accusations about North Carolina hog farms. From the "brutal" practice of raising pigs indoors to unfounded air and water quality concerns that ignore the findings of a 15-month air quality study conducted by the state and overlook the persistent water quality threats posed by massive spills from municipal wastewater treatment plants.

Vox makes passing mention of reforms implemented more than 25 years ago — reforms that North Carolina environmental officials have affirmed to be the toughest regulations in the nation for manure management. Since then, farmers have gotten smarter and better as well (something that Vox didn't acknowledge).

NC Pork says the results of these improvements are:

  • We continue to provide food, affordably.
  • We continue to provide good jobs, particularly in rural areas that need them.
  • And we have done so for decades now, sustainably, week after week, month after month, year after year. 

Source: North Carolina Pork Council, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly own the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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