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Thirty pigs killed after falling into slurry tank at Antrim farm

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Firefighters are working to save the pigs (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Firefighters are working to save the pigs (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Firefighters are working to save the pigs (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Thirty pigs have been killed after they fell into a slurry tank at a Co Antrim farm.

Twenty-five pigs were saved during a rescue operation that lasted for several hours from Saturday morning.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) was called to the farm on the Ballinderry Road, Aghanlee around 9.20am.

Six appliances attended the scene alongside a specialist Large Animal Rescue Team from Newcastle. Around 40 people were working at various times throughout the day to try and save the pigs.

NIFRS Group Commander Andrew Woods said that firefighters worked in "arduous and difficult conditions" to rescue the pigs.

"Due to the fumes they would have been wearing special suits and breathing apparatus, and it can be difficult dealing with all that in the conditions" he explained.

"If you can imagine the pigs are going to be in a highly agitated state and basically fighting for their lives.

"It's never nice to lose any animal but we were glad to be able to save some."

Over 70 pigs were saved in a similar incident at the same farm in July 2018 after pigs fell into the tank when concrete slabs fell away.

It was the largest animal rescue operation in the history of Northern Ireland.

Despite the best efforts of firefighters two pigs died during that incident.

Belfast Telegraph