Iowa man arrested after hundreds of pigs die from neglect

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In this May 8, 2019, photo, pigs stand in a barn at a pig farm in Panggezhuang village in northern China’s Hebei province. Chinese agriculture officials are launching a nationwide initiative to boost pork production following a price spike blamed on shortages caused by an outbreak of African swine fever. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man has been arrested after hundreds of pigs died at his farm last month after they went without adequate food and were kept in conditions so cold that some of their ears froze off.

Black Hawk County sheriff’s deputies arrested the 38-year-old man Monday on one count of livestock neglect, a misdemeanor, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported.

The man had been hired to raise 2,500 baby pigs until they reached around 280 pounds (127 kilograms), according to court records. The animals were delivered to his farm in rural Cedar Falls in late December with 15 tons of feed.

By Dec. 30, a consultant found that 800 of the pigs had died and that the animals didn’t have ready access to water and some didn’t have access to food. The consultant also found temperatures inside the barns was found to be under 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), when freshly weened hogs need temperatures around 80 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit to survive, court records state.

Authorities removed the remaining pigs from the farm to another facility, 51 pigs perished during the move and another 60 died in the following days, records state. The hogs died of malnutrition and dehydration, a state veterinarian determined.

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