China is preparing to operate industrial animal husbandry on a whole new scale, reports the British »Guardian«.
The newspaper reports on a facility on the southern outskirts of the city of Ezhou that rises 26 stories into the sky.
From a distance, it almost looks like a residential complex or a large hotel.
Inside, however, there are huge pigsties.
According to the Guardian, it is the largest pig farm in the world – around 1.2 million animals are said to grow up here for slaughter each year.
The operator behind the plant is Hubei Zhongxin Kaiwe Modern Farming, and the company put the plant into operation in October.
A second, identical building is under construction next to it.
The twin stables will offer a total of 800,000 square meters of space.
Cost: according to the Guardian, the equivalent of 540 million euros.
The residents' fear of the stench
According to the project description, the facility has over 30,000 feeding troughs that are operated by pressing a button from the control center.
The company wants to use the dung from the animals to operate a biogas plant.
This could provide electricity and heat for the stables.
The working conditions for the employees are apparently difficult.
According to the Guardian, workers are disinfected and tested before they are allowed onto the site.
After that, they're not allowed to leave it until their next break — reportedly only once a week.
Some residents are not enthusiastic about the system.
"It's unbelievable," the newspaper quoted a farmer from a nearby village as saying.
He's worried there could be odor nuisance when the giant stable is in full operation.
He had heard that his new neighbors only needed a few months before the pigs were ready for slaughter.
It used to be a year for him.
China is making great efforts to increase its pork production.
The country is the world's largest pork market, with around half of global production being consumed in China.
In addition, the country has been hit hard by African swine fever in recent years.
Large-scale systems should better protect the stocks from infection.