Taiwan farmers potty-train pigs to curb pollution

Farmers in southern Taiwan have started to potty-train their pigs in response to a planned water pollution fee, breeders and officials said on Monday.

To keep their livestock from defecating into nearby rivers, a growing number of farms have established special “toilets” smeared with faeces and urine to attract the pigs — and farmers say the results have been very encouraging.

“The pig toilets on my farm help me collect about 95% of all pig waste, making cleaning much, much easier,” Chang Chung-tou, a pig farmer in Yunlin county, said.

The Environmental Protection Administration, which will introduce a new fee on water pollution in the middle of 2010, plans to encourage other pig breeders to begin potty training.

“Apart from Yunlin, we have launched trial pig toilets in Changhua county [in central Taiwan]. We are evaluating the results,” an official from the administration said.

Taiwan has a total of about six million pigs, most of them raised on farms in the centre and the south.

One in five complaints about water pollution received by the administration is about waste from livestock farms. — AFP

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