This little piggy… One step closer to approval to run 1065 pigs near Canowindra

A map of the proposed piggery operation on Rivers Road near Canowindra which was considered by Cowra Shire Council's general committee this week.
A map of the proposed piggery operation on Rivers Road near Canowindra which was considered by Cowra Shire Council's general committee this week.

A piggery operation in Cowra Shire, supplying suckling pigs to Sydney's Chinatown, is one step closer to approval after the operation received the green light at this week's general committee of Cowra Shire Council.

The operation, to run a maximum of 199 sows in a free range operation on a 62 hectare site, at Bangaroo Ridge on Rivers Road near Canowindra but in Cowra Shire, now only needs approval from the monthly meeting of Cowra Shire later this month.

Approval would see the owner able to run 1065 pigs on the site, including sows and piglets.

The piggery would be free range operating as a rotational outdoor piggery where pigs are kept outdoors in paddocks that are used in rotation with a crop-pasture phase.

Piggery owner David Refalo is currently running 20 sows on the property after relocating from Kemps Creek near Sydney in 2017.

He explained 95 per cent of the pigs would be sold at eight weeks as suckling pigs with the remaining grown to porker and bacon weights.

"I supply a lot of pigs to Sydney, into Chinatown, there is a massive demand for them," Mr Refalo said.

The proposed stocking density of the development of four sows per hectare is much less than DPI's recommended maximum stocking rate of 20 to 25 sows per hectare.

"I was always after more land out west and it took me quite a few years to find land in the Cowra area which I thought was perfect," Mr Refalo said of his decision to relocate from Sydney's outskirts.

The attractiveness of his Rivers Road location, he said, is its closeness to two abattoirs as well as grain and water.

Addressing neighbour concerns, Mr Refalo said he had held off submitting a development application for the operation in an attempt to alleviate these concerns.

Cowra Shire Council has received submissions in support of and against the development.

Neighbour Nicola Thurgate asking council for more time before approving the operation citing concerns about run-off, its visual appearance and air quality.

Councillors stressed that anyone opposing the development still had until the March 25 council meeting to express their disapproval.

Also making news: