Gregory Forde tending to one of his newly born piglets. (Pictures by Lennox Devonish.)
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MANAGEMENT OF DL Prestige Farm and Meats Ltd is dismissing claims that it is operating an illegal business in Applewhaites, St George.
A DAILY NATION team on Tuesday investigated a complaint that pig waste was being dumped in a watercourse and a foul smell was emanating from the facility.
During a tour of the farm, which has an abattoir on site, one of the managing directors, Gregory Forde, said the complaints from residents were based on jealously.
“I have been in business for over 30 years and nothing I do here is illegal,” said Forde, who showed an up-to-date licence.
“I maintain proper hygienic standards and every time I kill animals, a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture has to oversee my operations.”
A neighbour, who disclosed the initial information and who did not want to be identified, complained about an “awful” odour coming from the farm that gave him “bad feels”.
“This has been going on for the past 15 years,” he said.
He added that the issue had been affecting him almost every day and the new sties that Forde had constructed a short distance away from his farmstead about two months ago had made a bad situation worse.
“With pigs, you will get a scent; you cannot get away from that,” said Forde. “But the way I manage my farm, there is no stinking smell. You only know there are pigs out here when you are on my farm, not when you are approaching or if you go downhill.”
During the tour, farm workers were washing the sties and sanitising the abbatoir. The animals also appeared to be well kept. There was no smell on the main road or while approaching the farm. It was only apparent on the facility.
A source attached to the Ministry of Health confirmed that Forde’s business was lawful, adding he was unaware of any complaints made about operations on the farm.
“When I went there two years ago during a regulatory inspection, I was actually impressed by what I saw. At that time, pigs were being slaughtered and the official from the Ministry of Agriculture was commending him for the cleanliness of the animals.”
The source said a routine inspection was scheduled for this morning.
He said people with any concerns should contact environmental officers attached to a polyclinic and log complaints, which would be investigated. (SB)