Fire kills thousands of pigs at breeding farm in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland

Approximately 2,000 pigs have died as a result of a shed fire on a farm in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland. The farrowing house at Glenmarshal Pedigree Pig, a shed where 140 sows and their piglets were kept, was destroyed by the blaze which broke out on Monday night.

The NI Fire and Rescue Service was called to the farm on the at 20:54 BST on Monday attend to the fire, which is believed to have been accidentally caused by an electrical fault, which was brought under control at around 11.50pm. Special animal rescue teams worked alongside fire crews at the scene.

Owner Trevor Shields, who praised the fire fighters for doing a “tremendous job”, said: “It is very emotional, it’s actually difficult for me to even talk about it.

“Our losses are quite substantial because this is one of the top breeding farms in Europe and there’s bloodlines that have just been wiped away. We’ll just have to put the pieces together and get over it because they are gone.”

Some of the bloodlines believed to have been lost may still be on on the farm in other parts, but there will be Mr Shields says some of the lines lost could go back as far as 40 years.

“The animals that we show at Balmoral are born from 1 September. Unfortunately they are gone.”

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