Araf Pig Farm. Photo: Animal Welfare Division, MoEP

One of most polluting pig farms in the country forced to close
Araf Pig Farm 
Photo: Animal Welfare Division, MoEP 
​A victory for animals and for the environment. A raid carried out by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and other government agencies has led to the closure of a pig farm accused of polluting water and soil in its area, as well as creating a severe odor problem.

​The raid took place in August 2012, after it became clear that the Araf Pig Farm in Kafr Maeilia, in the Western Galilee, was intent on ignoring a court-issued order to close the farm. That order was imposed after the court found the pig farm was guilty of severe air, water, and land pollution.

Area residents and business owners had long complained about the odor in the area. The farm’s wastewater often flowed to nearby rivers and into the soil, because the sewage system could not handle all of it. In addition, the farm’s 4,000 pigs were raised in extremely crowded and difficult conditions; during the raid, officials found a number of pig carcasses, as well as dying pigs.

Aside from the humanitarian and environmental issues, authorities say they found evidence that the farm’s owners are guilty of financially-related crimes worth hundreds of thousands of shekels. And they say the farm was operating without a business license.

The farm’s owners have been ordered to pay a fine of NIS 3,000 for each day the farm continued to operate after the order was issued.

Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan: "The closure of the pig farm is proof that when law enforcement agencies and the courts work together, we can achieve a lot. This business was involved in constant animal abuse and was a major source of air pollution, as well as land and water pollution."

The ministry continues to oversee the environmental situation in the area. Since the owners began the evacuation process, residents and business owners have reported that the air quality has significantly improved.

The raid on the Araf Pig Farm was carried out by: the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Tax Authority, the Justice Ministry, the Israel Electric Corporation, Israel Police, and the Interior Ministry.