A privately-owned Chinese agricultual company is currently running two seven-story pig breeding facilities – with plans to open four more.
Guangxi Yangxiang Co Ltd wants to build an operation with 13 floors – making it the world’s tallest building of its kind.
Although European companies have tried farming on two or three floors, resistance to such intensive farming means that few of the facilities have been built.
According to reports, the massive facilities are part of a plan to ‘modernize’ the farming sector in China, and create wealth in rural areas.
Xu Jiajing, Manager of Yangxiang’s mountain-top farm, told Reuters: “There are big advantages to a high-rise building.
“It saves energy and resources. The land area is not that much but you can raise a lot of pigs.”
The facilities house massive numbers of animals
Most intensive global farm
The numbers of animals who will be housed in these complexes is huge: Yangxiang is planning to hold 30,000 sows on its major 11-hectare site, birthing up to 840,000 piglets annually.
According to reports, this will make it the largest, most intensive pig-breeding farm in the world.
This has led to some health concerns – as disease can spread more prolifically when more animals are kept under one roof. A disease breakout could lead to mass culling.
There are also concerns for animal suffering, with one activist telling Plant Based News that this trend to breed more animals could result in even lower welfare standards.
“I can see that this company is trying to tackle food demands with limited space,” they said, “but I haven’t seen what kind of efforts are being put in place to safeguard the animals.
“We are talking about staggering numbers of pigs going through the system here – and a particularly intensive one at that. But all animals suffer at some point on their way from farm to plate, so as ever, the best way to reduce animal suffering is to go vegan.”