Pig wallowing in mud.
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Two pig farmers from the Western Galilee found themselves in the muck on Monday,
when the Acre Magistrate’s Court fined them NIS 80,000 each for polluting local
Brothers Jaris and Wadia Haddid from the Western Galilee
Christian Arab village of Mi’ilya pleaded guilty to operating a business without
a license, causing water pollution and dumping waste in the public
The Haddid brothers were charged under two environmental laws:
the Water Law and the Maintenance of Cleanliness Law.
In addition to
fining the brothers, the court also ordered them to each sign a three-year
pledge not to pollute the water, or face either a fine of NIS 160,000 or 500
days in prison.
According to the indictment, the Haddids kept around 500
pigs in an enclosure on the outskirts of Mi’ilya, near five potable water wells
and a river.
Prosecutors for the Environmental Protection Ministry told
the court that the pig farm had created serious environmental hazards.
various times between 2002 and 2007, the indictment said, untreated waste from
the pig farm flowed into uncovered dirt pools, giving rise to concerns that
surface and underground water sources could be contaminated.
month, until at least 2006, the Haddid brothers pumped sewage from the dirt
pools, which spread into agricultural lands adjacent to the pig
The brothers ignored a legal warning they received in 2002,
which informed them they were violating the Water Law.
continued pumping sewage from the dirt pools, the indictment said.
the authorities visited the Haddid’s pig pen in 2007, they found the brothers
had still not installed a wastewater treatment facility.
indictment said, the brothers had no license for the pig pen and had not engaged
the regional sewage authorities to treat the waste.
Sludge from the dirt
pools flowed into the surrounding fields and the area stank of
Even after the visit, the Haddids continued to ignore legal
warnings and carried on running the pig sty without a license.
witness from the Environmental Protection Ministry who testified in the trial
estimated that pollution from the Haddids’ pig farm was the equivalent of that
generated by 3,000 people.
The expert witness said the brothers had
caused severe pollution to the Western Galilee water resources, and that sewage
produced by the pig farm amounted to more than that produced by all Mi’ilya’s
residents put together.
In passing sentence, Judge Ronit Bash said the
brothers had committed severe offenses.
However, the judge noted that the
pig farm had been established many years ago by the Haddids’ father and that the
local authority permitted pigs to be farmed. The brothers had continued the
family business, the court said.
The brothers had also committed to
selling the pigs and removing the farm to solve the problem, the judge said.