Tourists discovers pigs living in 'inhumane' conditions

by: Lededra Marche, News Editor

The Humane Society of Grand Bahama (HSGB) is speaking out against the inhumane conditions a of number of livestock at a makeshift farm in East End.

Elizabeth ‘Tip’ Burrows, HSGB managing director, is crying foul on who ever is responsible for having at least nine pigs encaged in what appears to be a construction/dump site in the middle of a pine tree forest.

Even more disturbing is the number of badly malnourished-looking pigs and more than 50 goats roaming wild on the property.

Burrows said a tourist, who had been vacationing out east and exploring a number of the track roads, had called the shelter a couple of weeks ago after stumbling across the site.

The Freeport News visited the site with Burrows Wednesday afternoon and observed as two of the pigs were unable to move or stand up and one of them even appeared dead.

It was realized, however, that the pig was still alive after it wiggled its ear in attempts to relieve itself of the barrage of flies.

“She didn’t know who to call so she called us. I made some inquiries, talked to the Department of Agriculture, they knew whose farm it was and they were going to deal with it,” she said.

After not being able to ascertain what was done by the government agency over the last two weeks, Burrows said she decided to make her way down to the property and see for herself.

“I’m extremely upset. This is horrendous. Even animals that are intended for food need the basics — shade, shelter, food, water and medical care. This is animal cruelty,” she said.

Burrows points out her plight is not only for the pigs, but the goats as well.

“It appears the goats are breeding at an alarming rate. Anyone taking care of 80-plus goats properly is a big expense,” she said, “not to mention the inbreeding that seems to be going on could be a big problem.

“This just doesn’t look like a farm to me.”

The animal lover said she knows very little of the purported owner or how often he frequents the area.

“Judging from what I’m seeing, it doesn’t appear that anyone has been here for several days,” she said.

A disheartened Burrows, who became choked up said her fight is for all animals, not just dogs and cats, and although she had heard of the deplorable conditions at the makeshift farm, she did not think it could be as bad as it was. 

Burrows said every human being on this earth should be concerned when an animal is being treated badly.

“I had a feeling, but I wasn’t quite prepared for what I saw,” she said, looking back at the site.

When asked what she thought should happen, Burrows said, there was no question the animals should be relocated immediately.

 “I think these pigs, for sure, need to be removed. I think this farm needs to be shutdown, these animals need to be relocated somewhere to someone that is going to take proper care of them,” she said.

“The owner should be charged with animal cruelty for what’s going on with these pigs.”

The High Rock Police Station was also notified and an officer was left on scene as our news team was leaving.

A representative from the Department of Agriculture, Patrice Gibson, also visited the site on Thursday with a police officer, The Freeport News has learned.

However, our calls to Gibson, who was said to be on site at the time, were not returned up to press time.

Burrows, while giving an update on the matter, said she, too, was informed that the agriculture official viewed the animals and that the matter is being looked into.

The Freeport News was also informed that a government veterinarian is also expected to be brought in to examine the pigs and goats.

Police Affairs and Communications Officer Inspector Terecita Pinder also confirmed that police are monitoring the situation.

It was not clear, up to press time, whether the owner of the site or farm was contacted. 

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