The North Carolina pork industry is prepared for the approach of Hurricane Dorian and is ready to respond as necessary to protect human health, animals and the environment. Surveying by the North Carolina Pork Council indicates that anaerobic treatment lagoons have been well managed through the crop-growing season and can receive the amounts of rain forecasted.
North Carolina hog farmers have seen about 20 hurricanes over the past 20 years. Our farmers, veterinarians, environmental specialists and other experts have, working with state regulators and other partners, made tremendous strides in preparation for storms. These measures include the closure of more than 100 swine farms that were in flood-prone areas.
In recent hurricanes Matthew (2016) and Florence (2018) there were not widespread impacts to or from swine farms, as reported in post-storm assessments. In both of those record-breaking storms, more than 98 percent of the industry’s anerobic treatment lagoons did not have negative impacts. Swine losses were extremely low and isolated. Significant agricultural losses were concentrated in other sectors.
We urge caution by the media and the public regarding communications and information about our farms and our industry. In recent past storm events, we have seen widespread erroneous photographs and reports about our farms on social and mass media. (Major media outlets have later issued corrections.)
Further background information is available on our website.