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Barn fire kills 10,000 pigs

The cause of the fire is unknown.
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The Olymel facility near Sturgis, Sask., was a finishing barn, said Richard Vigneault, a company spokesperson. It was known as the Kopje barn.

STURGIS, Sask. — Provincial fire investigators and insurance officials were on scene today after a hog barn fire near Sturgis, Sask., killed about 10,000 pigs.

The Olymel facility near the east-central Saskatchewan community was a finishing barn, said Richard Vigneault, a company spokesperson. It was known as the Kopje barn.

“It’s very unfortunate,” he said of the Feb. 12 fire.

“It’s a total loss. Fortunately all the staff is OK, but the animals all perished.”

Staff on the property saw the fire and called the fire department. However, the fire in the large facility spread too quickly. The barn contained pigs of various ages and weights, with some that would have been near market ready.

Vigneault said the cause was unknown.

Olymel has a second barn and feed mill nearby that were not affected.

The company has a significant presence in Saskatchewan after purchasing Humboldt-based Big Sky Farms 10 years ago. According to its website, the subsidiary Olysky produces 1.2 million hogs annually with more than 52,000 sows. Most of its facilities are in Saskatchewan, including breeding facilities, sow barns and finishers.

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