30 pigs die after falling into slurry pit in County Antrim

Thirty pigs have died after falling into a slurry pit at a farm in Northern Ireland.

Six crews from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) attended the scene at Ballinderry Road in Aghalee, County Antrim, on Saturday 1 February at 9.20am.

A specialist Large Animal Rescue Team was also called to the farm and a further 25 pigs were rescued.

Andrew Woods, NIFRS group commander, said: “If you can imagine, the pigs are going to be in a highly agitated state and basically fighting for their lives.

“It’s never nice to lose any animal but we were glad to be able to save some.”

He said the firefighters worked in “arduous and difficult conditions” to rescue the pigs.

“Due to the fumes they would have been wearing special suits and breathing apparatus, and it can be difficult dealing with all that in the conditions,” he added.

The Health and Safety Executive is investigating the incident.

In 2018, 72 pigs were saved by firefighters after they had fallen into a slurry tank on a farm in Northern Ireland.

It was the largest animal rescue operation in the history of NIFRS and fire crews worked for nearly seven hours.