Northern Ireland: Approximately 2,000 Pigs Die In Shed Fire Caused By An Electrical Fault.

Approximately 2,000 pigs have died in a shed fire on a farm in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland.

The farrowing house which was located at Glenmarshal Pedigree Pig, comprised a shed where 140 sows and their piglets were kept, was destroyed by the blaze which broke out on 7/9/20.

We understand that approximately 2,000 pigs in total have died as a result.

The Northern Ireland (NI) Fire and Rescue Service was called to the farm at 20:54 BST on Monday evening to attend to the fire, which is understood to have been accidentally caused by an electrical fault.

The fire was brought under control at approximately 11.50pm. 

Special animal rescue teams worked alongside fire crews at the scene.

Owner Trevor Shields, who praised the fire fighters for doing a “tremendous job”, said: “It is very emotional, it’s actually difficult for me to even talk about it.

“Our losses are quite substantial because this is one of the top breeding farms in Europe and there’s bloodlines that have just been wiped away. We’ll just have to put the pieces together and get over it because they are gone.”

Some of the bloodlines believed to have been lost may still be on the farm in other parts, but there will be some of the lines lost could go back as far as 40 years.

Mr Shields said he was told the cause of the blaze is likely to have been an electrical fault and the Fire Service is treating it as an accident.

Mr Shields said Glenmarshal is a well-known name in the pig breeding world and a regular prize-winner at the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society’s Balmoral Show.

‘Difficult conditions’

Four fire engines were called to the scene.

Assistant Group Commander Martin Healy said they arrived to a well developed blaze and they “worked in difficult conditions to prevent the fire spreading to adjacent buildings”.

He said it was “a very difficult scene to witness” and he was thankful they were able to stop the fire spreading to other sheds where more pigs were housed.

Special animal rescue teams worked alongside fire crews at the scene.

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