North Carolina discusses 'hog lagoons'
The use of open-air pits to temporarily store pig waste
is currently a hot topic of public debate in North Carolina,
So-called 'hog lagoons' have been allowed by the means of a moratorium since
1997 - a moratorium that has been extended four times ever
Opponents however raised their vocies as the moratorium will
end September 1 - they criticise the lagoons for their smell and blame them for
ill effects on health.
A bill for a
new moratorium for three more years was approved earlier this month by the
state House Agriculture Committee - but still has to be considered in the full
Requests were made by two environmental groups to permanently
ban waste lagoons in North Carolina. Such a ban would pressure the pig industry
and others to develop less-expensive technology for farmers, according to the
The committee members said that the
moratorium is still needed while researchers and the pig industry try to lower
the costs of alternative waste-disposal methods.
A report last year
recommended five alternatives that would reduce ammonia and pathogen emissions
but could cost up to five times more than the lagoon and spray-field
North Carolina is the US'
second-largest state in pig production, representing 10 million animals. State pig farms
produce 13 million pounds of waste a day into the open-air pits, according to
state agricultural officials.
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