Neighbors upset about Loxahatchee farm, complain about smell, pig slaughters
Farm owner says he follows all protocols
5:05 AM, Jul 25, 2013
11:05 AM, Jul 25, 2013
LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. - Neighbors along Orange Drive and 71st Place North in Loxahatchee say the smell and sight of a pig farm in their neighborhood is unbearable.
"A lot of times I have to put a shirt over my face just to go outside," Barbara Rochefort said.
Rochefort and her husband Ken live across the street from Garcia Farm.
Other neighbors also say the smell keeps them inside.
"It will gag you. It is not that there is a farm there that bothers me, but they do not practice good farming," neighbor Ed Gulzeit said.
On Wednesday, goats could be seen on the property and there was trash littered throughout.
The Rocheforts say the smell isn't the worst of it. They are upset because they say they can see the slaughtering happening from their home.
"They chase the pigs and goats throughout the brush and then they shoot," Ken Rochefort said.
"You hear the gun and then you hear the pigs squeal," Barbara Rochefort said.
Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control said Wednesday: "We have been there throughout the years and we continue to have concerns about what happens on that property. If neighbors see or hear a slaughter, contact us immediately."
But Jorge Garcia, the owner of the farm, says he follows all protocols.
"They are lying. Whoever is telling you these things needs to talk to me face to face," Garcia said.
Garcia says he never slaughters in the open and it only happens behind walls.
"There is no way they can see me slaughter animals. Everything is enclosed and no one can see," Garcia said.
According to a Palm Beach County ordinance, it is a violation to slaughter animals where the public can see or hear it happening.
Garcia says he has downsized from one hundred pigs to just twenty. And he says he does his best to keep his property clean.
"All that trash is picked up every week. Every week we clean the property," Garcia said.
But neighbors say the property has been a mess for years.
"That trash has been sitting there for months," Barbara Rochefort said.
Garcia says the neighbors' complaints are threatening his livelihood. He says the only way he'll back down is if they buy him out.
"If they don't like it, someone bring me half a million dollars and I will walk away," Garcia said.
The Florida Department of Agriculture says it inspected the farm twice and found no violations. But it says it only check to see if the animals are suffering from illness.