Hundreds of Pigs Stolen From Animal Farms in the US

October 28, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. pilfer (v.) [pil-fer] – to steal in small quantities
Example: The official kept on pilfering the public funds until it amounted to a huge sum.

2. isolated (adj.) [ahy-suh-ley-tid, is-uh-] – being alone or separated from persons or other things
Example: Being isolated from modern civilization, the remote village maintained their ancient traditions.
3. automated (adj.) [aw-tuh-meyt]  – controlled or driven by machines
Example: Automated factories do not require much manual labor.

4. keep track (idiom) [keep] [trak] – to be aware or to be kept informed
Example: He arrived late because he was not able to keep track of the time

5. slaughterhouse (n.) [slaw-ter-hous] – a place where animals are butchered for food
Example: Slaughterhouses should be kept clean for health purposes.

Read the text below.

Hundreds of pigs at farms in Minnesota and Iowa were pilfered late September. Authorities believe the "hognappers" are familiar with the hog-raising business.

One of the farms belongs to Ryan Bode and his family who raise a total of 4,000 hogs in one of their facilities. Bode's staff noticed, after doing an inventory, that 150 hogs were missing, a number worth $30,000.

According to Investigator Marc Chadderdon, several factors work in the hognappers' favor.

First, hognappers strike farms in isolated areas where their vehicles get hidden by tall corn fields, making them hardly noticeable.

Second, the largely automated farm needs fewer people on the site. This leaves security quite loose. In addition, large operations with large numbers of animals make it hard to keep track of every animal.

Third, the pigs had no identifying marks. Bode says putting earmarks or tattoos on each pig is additional work and that they had no reason to do in the first place.

For pigs to be accepted at slaughterhouses, the seller must have paperwork. Chadderdon and Bode therefore contend that the hognappers are well-connected in the livestock raising business. Everyone involved in the transactions have to know each other.

While investigations are ongoing, Chadderdon advises pork producers to increase security by adding alarms, cameras, and motion-sensing detectors. Moreover, farmers are advised to regularly count their animals and check their facilities.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

·         What are the security measures done by animal farms in your country?
·         If you had a farm, what security measures would you adopt?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think theft occurs?
·         How do you think can theft be prevented?

October 28, 2011