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Fire destroys over $100,000 worth of livestock at piggery

A BILOELA piggery was left counting the cost, after an early morning fire in a farrowing shed destroyed over $100,000 worth of livestock.

More than 60 sows and about 600 piglets died in the blaze, which was first reported to fire crews about 1.45am on Monday.

Australian Pork Limited's general manager of communications Emily Mackintosh said the fire had obliterated about one week's worth of production, however it was not expected to impact on the price of pork in the region.

"Any loss of a life of an animal in a fire is tragic," Ms Mackintosh said.

"There were no human injuries and they (staff) were able to get a lot of the rest of the pigs out before the fire took hold.

"You're not going to see an impact on pork prices."

Bettafields Piggery co-owner Laurie Brosnan said the toll could have been higher, had it not been for the fire starting in a complex set down for decommission.

"There was not many stock remaining in there at this point," he said.

"Some (pigs) were saved; some have perished in the fire.

"It was a reasonably sized fire … we limited the damage as much as we could."

The fire, which required four urban crews consisting of Thangool and Biloela teams as well as one rural fire crew to contain, was brought under control just before 3am yesterday.

Biloela Police officer in charge Senior Sergeant Nick Paton said a forensic investigation team would attend the scene; however the fire had not appeared to be suspicious.

Ms Mackintosh, from the national peak body representing Australian pork producers, said: "Whilst it is under investigation, it isn't suspicious and potentially pointing to an electrical fault with one of the heat lamps."

UPDATE 10AM: FORENSIC investigators are en route to a Biloela piggery, after an early morning fire in a farrowing shed destroyed over $100,000 worth of stock.

Australian Pork Limited's general manager of communications, Emily Mackintosh confirmed the fire, first reported at about 1.45am today, claimed the lives of about 60 sows and 600 piglets.

BREAKING 9.23AM: SEVERAL pigs have died at a Biloela piggery following a ravaging fire that destroyed 70% of their home this morning.

It's believed the fire sparked up around 1.50am today. The fire ripped through one of a few sheds at the Gladstone Road-Dawson Highway piggery.

Police could not confirm what caused the fire.

Topics:  biloela, dawson highway, fire, gladstone rd, pigs



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