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Oniony pig farts legal, court rules
Photo: DPA

Oniony pig farts legal, court rules

Published: 22 Dec 2011 10:29 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Dec 2011 10:29 GMT+01:00

A court in the northern German town of Osnabrück has ruled that a farmer is allowed to feed his pigs vast quantities of raw onions, despite complaints from neighbours about their eye-watering gaseous emissions.

The farmer has been feeding his 1,500 pigs several cubic metres of onions every week for the past 14 years, but city authorities ordered him to stop, and threatened to fine him €2,500, after locals complained of the resulting pungent porcine farts.

The council justified its decision on the grounds that planning permission for the pigsty forbade “strong-smelling foods, e.g. kitchen waste.”

But the court overturned the decision, saying that the city council had imposed the penalty on the assumption that the onions were to blame for the stink without providing sufficient evidence.

According to the court’s statement, the court called in an expert witness on “emissions control,” who testified that “onions did not count as strong-smelling foods, because they are untreated organic raw materials that have not decomposed.”

There was no indication, however, that the expert lived near the farm.

But the legal procedure has not been exhausted on this noxious issue. Onions could still be banned as pig food, if the council proves they are responsible for the distinctive farts.

The farmer has not been named, to protect his identity, but he is reportedly easy to find in a favourable wind.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:17 December 22, 2011 by MVOwens
Thanks for the Christmas humor!
12:38 December 22, 2011 by storymann
Really, I can not believe that anyone would make the complaint about a pig farm smelling.
14:43 December 22, 2011 by XFYRCHIEF
I don't know which story is funnier - this one, or the German court ruling "Kiss my ass" is an insult! And I really thought there were more important issues in the world. Now we need the court to rule if "Kiss my pig's ass" is an insult.
16:45 December 22, 2011 by lucksi
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:02 December 22, 2011 by blatus
@lucksi: Hilarious!
08:53 December 23, 2011 by Englishted
Who is the cutie with the ear stud?
10:15 December 23, 2011 by susan54
I live about 2 km away from this pig farm, and it's not a joke. In the summer you have to keep your windows closed, the smell of onions AND garlick is disgusting. You have to smell it to believe it!!!
16:21 December 23, 2011 by XFYRCHIEF
@englishted - Funny! When I first saw the picture I thought the pigs had an extra eye in their ear!

I wonder if the pig meat tastes like onions and garlic? Pre-seasoned pork!

susan54 - we were on holiday in Scotland and passed a farm using liquid manure (pig poop) - spraying it on their fields. We all were sickened by the smell. Can't imagine day after day...
18:48 December 23, 2011 by mikel taylor
Susan54 ,, who was there first you or the pig farm, it's kinda like people who complain about the noise when they move close to the airport.
21:57 December 23, 2011 by quiller
XFYRCHIEF - You can only spread slurry (pig poop) at certain times of the year. The ground has to be dry to avoid getting the slurry into the water table. The taste from a glass of water with a splash of slurry is an acquired taste. Country children never suffer from asthma as the whiff of slurry clears the bronichal tubes.

As regards the dear little porkers - I find this difficult to believe. Genetically speaking we are close to porkers. If we are that close genetically, I do not see the problem as it is a family (in the broad sense) relationship. It grows on you after about 100 years.
22:00 December 24, 2011 by Flint
I can't imagine how adding onions could make a pig farm smell any worse.
22:26 December 24, 2011 by Aasvogel
Bacon and onion crisps, anyone?
05:41 December 25, 2011 by PierceArrow
Scatology does give me a big laugh, but I do wonder how that farmer gets the money for all those onions! They must cost a lot more than regular pig feed.

Also, IMHO any farmer or feedlot with that much livestock should be required to process the poop into biofuel ASAP, instead of leaving the poop on the ground to foul the air and contaminate the groundwater!
23:42 December 27, 2011 by greatgerman
Thats what germans are they are more bothered about the neighbours cooking eating and the way they fart and even weren´t hesitated to smell the taste of their neighbours farting.

I have seen many of the germans doing so rather than checking their own farting... eating the same pig everyday in their daily life.

Poor.... feel pity on them...Thats the only thing they can do in their whole life time as being Germans. Smelling the neighbours fart.....
17:03 December 30, 2011 by yuri_nahl
It could be away of killing off pig intestinal parasites . Onions and garlic bump off worms.

I had worms, then I ate a big dose of garlic and , viola...no worms!
18:30 March 13, 2012 by Lionel Tiger
Glad to hear the sensible outcome ! In India, the Onion is a large part of the diet. And the French are renowned for having a bunch of them round their neck. Rather concerning that a fine was being issued without proper evidence.
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