The fair may be over, but more than 200 head of hogs were milling around the swine barn at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds Wednesday.
According to Rod Brown, public information officer for the North Platte Police Department, the animals were pulled off a semi that broke down on West South River Road near the Fairfield Inn and Suites. Officers responded to the site at 12:43 p.m. Tuesday.
According to Brown, the trailer had been parked at the location since 9 a.m. on Tuesday and contained 225 hogs in various states of distress.
The animals belonged to Lynch Livestock, Inc. of Waucoma, Iowa. The semi driver was Stanley Frye, 37, from Bristol, Va. Frye allegedly told police that he loaded the hogs at 11:30 p.m. Monday in Iowa and was taking them to slaughter in California.
According to Brown, Frye and another passenger in the semi were waiting on parts for the truck when officers arrived. The parts were delivered at 2:30 p.m. In the meantime, the hogs had to be cooled, and the North Platte Fire Department was dispatched to spray them with water.
"That really helped them," said Dr. Rick Keeten, of the North Platte Veterinary Clinic. "Pigs can't sweat because they don't have any sweat glands."
The semi was eventually repaired. The hogs were transported to the fairgrounds, where Keeten assessed them.
"They didn't unload well, but there weren't any dead ones on the trailer," Keeten said. "One stepped off that looked bad, but it didn't die."
Another hog did die, but Keeten wasn't sure what killed it.
Steve Carmel, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said temperatures peaked at 97 degrees at 4:48 p.m. in North Platte.
"I got to the fairgrounds at about 4:30 p.m., and they were starting to unload," Keeten said. "It's hard to tell how warm it got inside the trailer. On one hand, there were slots in the sides, but on the other hand, the animals were all piled in together."
Lincoln County Ag Society members have been caring for the hogs. Chad Mahnken, LCAS president, said the Ag Society typically charges $10 per animal per day, which doesn't include the cost of feed.
"But in this case, because of the predicament they're in and because we can fit more than one animal in the pens that were still set up from the fair, we'll probably offer a discounted rate," Mahnken said. "We're just charging per pen, and then there will be a cleanup fee."
Wednesday afternoon in Lincoln County Court, Lynch Livestock was ordered to pay $1,518 to the city of North Platte as reimbursement for the hogs' care. The decision allowed the animals to be released from state custody...
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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