Contaminated Hogs Killed on Missouri Farm
POTTERSVILLE, Mo. (AP) _ More than 1,500 hogs that had eaten feed contaminated with the pesticide involved in an eight-state milk recall were given lethal injections Tuesday and buried in a 180-foot-long trench.
Don Proffitt said he decided to destroy his quarantined animals after it became apparent they could not be cleared of heptachlor, a pesticide that has contaminated more than 100 dairy herds in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
Since early March, thousands of gallons of heptachlor-tainted milk products have been recalled from stores in the three states as well as Kansas, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana and Tennesse.
A court order last month required Proffitt to quarantine his animals until they could be rid of the toxic chemicals.
Proffitt said the animals were tested for signs of improvement, but that it became evident last week that destroying them was the only solution.
″I never had any hope the hogs could be cleaned up,″ he said.
His brother, Dean, is chairman of the Missouri Milk Board and one of eight state dairymen whose herd is under quarantine.
Representatives of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources helped Proffitt select a site for the 10-foot-deep, 6-foot-wide trench. State agriculture officials administered the lethal injections.
Proffitt estimated the potential market value of the hogs at more than $100,000.
He said he would probably try to restart his pig operation, but said that the general state of agriculture would make it difficult to recover from his financial loss.
Officials have said Valley Feeds of Van Buren, Ark., sold the contaminated grain to farmers in three states. The grain had been treated with heptachlor to preserve it for use as seed in making gasohol, a use permitted under federal restrictions on the chemical.