Target: North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory
Goal: Save local water supplies and public health from large-scale hog farming.
Large-scale pork producers are responsible for some of the most severe environmental offenses in the factory farming industry. Hog farmers in North Carolina and elsewhere in the country dispose of pig excrement in large “lagoons”—literally open cesspools of pig waste. In 2008, hog farms in just five North Carolina counties produced 15.5 million tons of pig waste. These lagoons are not just an offense to the senses; they also endanger environmental and public health. Excess nutrients, as well as any bacteria, viruses, and pharmaceuticals contained in the waste can easily leak or be washed into waterways. These contaminants pose a serious threat to ecosystems and public drinking supplies.
In 1999, a hurricane caused many of these waste ponds to rupture and flood, spilling tons of toxic waste and contaminating the local water supply. Yet, 16 years later, North Carolina still has almost as many pigs as people and the problem of their waste continues to threaten rivers, lakes, and groundwater. Laws put in place to prevent contamination, such as limiting the spraying of waste on fields, are routinely broken. Hog producers in North Carolina continue to display a disregard for public health.
Despite these alarming facts, the Governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, recently took a stand against environmental groups. A large North Carolina livestock-farming group held a rally and McCrory addressed the crowd, saying he would fight for hog farmers. McCrory’s statements have made it clear he values the money the pork industry brings to the state over the health of its citizens. Sign the petition below to tell Governor McCrory that he needs to prioritize public health over his allegiance with the pork industry.
Dear Governor McCrory,
Large-scale hog farmers in North Carolina pose a serious threat to public health. It is simply undeniable that large, open lagoons of pig waste are constantly at risk of polluting local water supplies. When Hurricane Floyd caused these lagoons to rupture and flood in 1999, it should have been a turning point in your support for the industry. Instead, you have continued to back large-scale pork producers and insist there are no problems with the way they operate.
Pork production in North Carolina may contribute billions to the economy but polluters must be held responsible for their offenses. Hog farmers continue to ignore laws put in place to protect water quality. When excess nutrients, bacteria, and viruses from pig waste wash into local waterways, everyone suffers.
The health of your citizens should far outweigh the economic benefit of siding with the pork industry. I urge you to reconsider your stance on this issue and stop backing hazardous large-scale pork production.
[You Name Here]
Photo Credit: Farm Sanctuary