The Pig Farmer's story.

Sadly while we were still updating these pages Phil rang to say that he had to spend time in hospital for an operation to correct problems with a hip replacement that was giving tremendous pain.
Phil was concerned as he had suffered from the effects of the anaesthetics used in earlier surgery.
He had the operation on the 19th March 2007 and was recovering well despite similar reactions.
Unfortunately on Sunday 25th March his condition deteriorated rapidly and he passed away.

The Post Mortem suggests that his untimely death was triggered by a blood clot but the site of the clot has not been reported. It is thought that this may be a recurrence of the problems with blood clots that were triggered by the exposure to the enzymes in the pig feed and which had taken 2 years to overcome.
There will be an Inquest into his death in August 2007.

Phil has become another name in the long list of farmers who have died during or after "routine" surgery.
His story is yet another example of how the authorities in the UK are failing in their duty to protect the health of both the animals used for human consumption and the people who eat them but it also demonstrates the complete failure of the legal system to be able to bring justice to those that the State authorities abuse with its power.

The Lancashire Evening Post article referring to Phil's passing is available here.
Interestingly the feed company reportedly suggests that they no longer use the additive and yet they had denied using it at all in previous statements.
Nor was Phil's herd the only one to suffer adverse effects but until the suppliers provide the correct information it will be difficult to determine why Phil and his family suffered so badly.
Phil's wife, Diane, and their three sons, Paul, Richard, and Howard, miss him immensely but he lives on in their hearts and in their minds and they hope to be able to continue both to maintain his pig herd and his fight for the truth, as we are sure he would have wished.

In respect for Phil we are leaving the article below, which tells his story, just as he approved it but we hope to be able to report a successful outcome in the near future.

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Phil is a farmer who lives in Lancashire, UK.
In the 1980s he was highly regarded as owner of one of the finest herds of breeding pigs in the UK and was featured in the farming press as a Champion breeder using one of the best management systems employed in piggeries.

Phil's Champion Boars

One of Phil's champion sows, his feed silo and students and buyers from Holland and Japan.

He had a herd of about a 100 pedigree Landrace sows, some 1000 pigs in all, and all bred and reared to a very high standard. The pigs were housed in ventilated buildings and fed electronically by a modern automatic sow feeder, costing about 7000, providing precise amounts of concentrates at an average of 2.5 kg per sow per day. His highly efficient system for collecting the manure kept the pigs clean and healthy and provided useful fertiliser for the surrounding grassland farmers.

In 1988 Phil was taken to hospital with blood clots in his lungs. Recovery took two years.

In 1989 Phil had over 100 sows in the herd but 50 to 60 piglets per week were being born with skin looking like "raw meat" and heads that were larger than normal.
It seems that some form of bacteria was being added to the feed.
Years later in 1997 the Scientific Committee on Animal Nutrition stated that the use of Bacillus species in animal nutrition may be ill-advised because of the risks of toxicity - a statement which was to prove correct.

In 1990 Phil complained about the feed he was using because he was not getting his usual results. The company which provided the fed for the pigs informed Phil that one of the ingredients in the feed was a product they called "BIOSURE", which was apparently an enzyme used in washing powders.
Phil's piglets were all stillborn and had black skin. Testing was performed but no cause was apparently found and it was said that the sows were healthy.
Two Years later the veterinary surgeons were to tell Phil that they had suspected that there was something wrong with the feed but had taken no action.

The Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food advised Phil to use Erysipelas Vaccine as a preventative but the pigs did not show the characteristic signs of the illness and had no red patches on their skin or high temperatures.
By now the numbers of healthy pigs in the herd had fallen and Phil had to employ his pig man on a part time basis only.

In 1991 Phil's pigs were still not doing well and so he complained again to the feed manufacturers who informed him that they were adding a "new Enzyme" in the feed.
The piglets started to be born "white", hundreds of them, and the sows had large lumps in their "udders" which were later discovered to be cancerous tumours.

Phil's wife Diane became pregnant with their fourth child but the hospital failed to discover that the unborn child had numerous deformities before the pregnancy had advanced beyond the legal termination date.
The child was born in late October 1991 but after just an hour and five minutes the poor child died, in many ways a thankful release from its suffering. Phil's wife would have inhaled the dust from the feed during her pregnancy.

This image of Phil's baby may shock and so for those with medical interest or who are not easily upset the image is to be found here.

Phil changed his feed supplier in December 1991 but it was probably too late because his pigs had consumed the experimental feed for several years and the damage to their bodies was not to be resolved easily.
Information given to Phil suggests that he was supplied with experimental feeds during the period 1988 through to and including 1991. No one told him at the time that the novel fees had never been properly tested and an official told Phil that what had happened to his pigs "should be held as an example as to what can happen when people do not obey the rules.

In 1992 the sows who had consumed the feed started to farrow with terrible results.

Piglets had umbilical cords growing from their heads

Piglets were born with legs longer on one side than the other

Tongues some six inches long hung from the mouths of the piglets

Piglets possessed both male and female sex organs

Piglets were born "white".

Phil's electronic sow feeder recorded the quantities fed to the pigs which, instead of the normal 2.5 kg of feed were demanding 4.5 to 5 kg and yet they were in terrible condition and became aggressive.
Up to 50% of the pigs were unable to stand as their legs collapsed under them. Cancerous growths were common.

Phil discovered that two other local pig farmers were finding similar problems in their herds but all attempts to breed out the problem, even over three generations, failed to recover the formerly excellent health of the herd.

The Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and food then advised Phil to cull the entire herd.

These events have had dire consequences for Phil and his family.
Before dealing with this feed company Phil had no debts or borrowed money. Phil estimates that he has lost in excess of 600,000 and that it will eventually cost him that much again to get the farm back to the high standard and quality breeding stock that he had worked so long to achieve before this disaster. His savings have gone, the investments for his children had to be used to feed his family, and he is in debt to his bank.

Phil's tragic story has been told in publications such as the Big Issue and "The Lantern" as reported on the web here and here, in October 2005, and in letters to the farming press over many years but he has had little support in his struggle from officials of government.

Phil is fighting back. He is slowly rebuilding his herd and has returned to showing his animals.

At last he is regaining the success that he had before the traumatic events caused by the feeds.

Phil reports that NO trials had been done on the experimental feed and that his herd had been used to test that feed without his knowledge or consent. He also says that he was at peak times selling two tonnes of meat per week to supermarkets and that other farmers with similar problems were doing the same.

Phil and his family were abandoned by the very agencies that were supposed to be there to help and support him and to protect the health of both humans and animals. He feels that even the National Farmers Union, who supposedly act in the best interests of farmers and farming, have failed his family.

Given that the feed had such devastating effects on the health of these animals and that the experimental feed may have residual properties in the meat the similarity with the BSE crisis is obvious and yet instead of assisting Phil in his struggle it appears, as with BSE, organophosphorus poisoning, and the potential dangers of GM crops, that the official efforts to hide the truth were more determined than was their search for the truth and their efforts to protect human health.

Dated 27/2/2007   Updated 9/5/2007.

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