Hundreds of pig carcasses sent to rendering plant after accidental death

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ROSEAU COUNTY, Minn.—Hundreds of pigs that died in a farming accident in northern Minnesota were disposed of in a rendering plant, authorities say.

Michael Crusan, communications director of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, said that 473 pigs died in a farming accident in Roseau County on Oct. 26.

The Board of Animal Health visited the farm within 72 hours of the incident, Crusan said, and helped determine what to do with the carcasses. If the caracasses are left out for more than 72 hours, sanitary and health issues can arise, Crusan said.

Ultimately it was determined the pigs would go to a rendering plant.

"A recycling facility where they would render that material and re-purpose it," Crusan said, describing the role of rendering plants.

On the Board of Animal Health website rendering plants are described as the "ultimate recyclers" and a necessary service for livestock management. Products often made from rendered materials include soap, crayons and antifreeze.

The Roseau County Sheriff's Office said they were not involved in the incident as no foul play was suspected or human life endangered.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture Communications Director Margaret Hart said her agency was not involved in the case, which generally would fall under the jurisdiction of the Animal Board of Health. She said with herd loss, her department occasionally receives requests to help farmers from a financial standpoint, but that they have not been contacted in this case.

The farm was reported as belonging to Glacial Lakes Ag Management by area media. The farming company had not replied to comment requests by press time Tuesday. The Board of Animal Health, citing data privacy, declined to confirm which farm the incident took place at.