A 26-story pig skyscraper in China will slaughter 1 million animals a year, report says
- China's skyscraper pig farm aims to tackle the country's growing pork demands, The Guardian reports.
- The vast 26-story building can fit up to 600,000 animals.
Chinese company Hubei Zhongxin Kaiwei Modern Farming has built a 26-story skyscraper that can slaughter 1.2 million pigs a year. The Guardian reported the new tower in China is the largest "single-building pig farm in the world."
It is situated on the southern outskirts of Ezhou and aims to tackle the country's growing demand for pork. Currently, over half of the world's pork is consumed in China, The Guardian has previously reported.
Statements on the company's WeChat account analyzed by The Guardian reveal the farm-in-the-sky will house more than 600,000 animals. This comes at the cost of 4 billion yuan, or about $557 million.
The Guardian reported the 2.6 million sq foot farm has advanced technology. Animals are automatically fed via buttons in a central control room, and the pigs' waste is used to generate heating and power.
Hubei Zhongxin Kaiwei Modern Farming, the company behind the development, has already sent 3,700 sows to the farm, The Guardian reported.
One farmer living close to the skyscraper shared his thoughts with the outlet: "It's unfathomable. About 30 years ago, when I was raising pigs, we would only have two or three in our backyard pigsty."
"I've heard pigs raised in these farms can be ready for sale in a few months, and back in the day, it would take us about a year to raise one. But I think as technology advances, this will be the trend in the future," he continued.
In terms of disease control, the company's WeChat statements also outlined that workers will undergo high levels of testing and disinfection and may have to stay on-site for a week at a time, according to The Guardian's report.
Professor Zhu Zengyong at the Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences told The Guardian: "The pig farming industry is heading towards a highly automatic and intelligent future, and the standards and threshold for pig farmers will become higher as a result."
Some experts, however, shared their concerns, particularly around disease outbreaks.
"Intensive facilities can reduce interactions between domesticated and wild animals and their diseases, but if a disease does get inside,e they can break out between animals like wildfire," Matthew Hayek, an assistant professor in environmental studies at New York University, told The Guardian.
Dirk Pfeiffer, chair professor at One Health at City University of Hong Kong, added: "The higher density of animals, the higher risk of infectious pathogen spread and amplification, as well as potential for mutation."
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