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Oniony pig farts legal, court rules

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Oniony pig farts legal, court rules
Photo: DPA
10:29 CET+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

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