News 424 views last update:Jul 2, 2007

Permit allows 1 mln extra pigs for Smithfield

The US state Division of Water Quality renewed Smithfield's water usage and discharge permit, meaning that an extra 1 million pigs are allowed to be processed by the company.

The permit raises the cap on how many pigs Smithfield may kill per year to 9.5 million, up from about 8.5 million. The permit also sets new restrictions on the company's water usage and the amount of pollution it can put into the Cape Fear River.

North Carolina farms

The 1 million additional pigs will come from North Carolina farms, Smithfield's spokesperson Dennis Pittman said. North Carolina has been shipping pigs to other states because the slaughterhouses here couldn't keep up, he said.

Water use
Although production increases, the water usage has to decrease by 5%, according to the permit, to about 1.88 million gallons per day. Pittman said the company eventually plans to use river water and phase out usage of well water.

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