Thursday, May 28, 2009

Update on the FL Pig Case. Late but interesting.

This was an event that happened a few weeks ago during the start of the Swine Flu scare. Things have calmed down and then the whole area flooded so everyone remembered what they should be worried about. They live in a swamp and in the path of hurricanes and tornadoes when they are not in a drought. However, its such a stunning example of mass hysteria and stupidity I just wanted to post it even if it is old news by now. If you own animals, you never know when the villagers will come up the hill carrying torches and pitchforks:<

Posted: 05/12/2009 at 8:17am
Swine flu fears grip neighbors of pig sanctuary

A Bunnell auto parts store owner is offering free masks to anyone living near a Flagler County swine farm, angering the owner of the Pig Tales Sanctuary who said the offer falsely implies her porkers carry the swine flu.

"I've got a couple people telling me that they heard my pigs have swine flu, so now this thing is going to get people crazy," said Lory Yazurlo, who runs Pig Tales Sanctuary.

But things already seem crazy around Pig Tales Sanctuary at 596 County Road 90. Last week, annoyed neighbors shot to death 10 or 12 trespassing pigs. One of those neighbors said Yazurlo -- who is confined to a wheelchair -- threatened to kill his wife and 1 1/2-year-old son and burn his house down. Yazurlo denies making any threats and says someone is "maliciously" cutting the chain on her gate and setting the pigs free.

Ed Smith, who placed the free mask ad in The Flagler/Palm Coast News-Tribune, said he is trying to draw attention to problems at the 20-acre sanctuary, which he describes as a smelly eyesore and mosquito breeding ground. The ad offers a free mask "if you live or work within 10 miles of a Flagler County Swine Farm County Road 90 East." Smith said he has 5,000 masks at his Bunnell Auto Supply Store, 119 N. Bay St. He said he will give one to anyone who asks, whether or not they live near Yazurlo's pigs.

"I think there's a good possibility that at some point they could be a carrier for the swine flu," Smith said in a phone interview Monday.

But there haven't been reports of swine flu in any pigs, said Terence McElroy, a spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. "There hasn't been any swine flu in any swine herd in America," McElroy said Monday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta doesn't even call the virus swine flu anymore; it's now officially referred to as the H1N1 flu because it's so different from what normally circulates in North American pigs, a CDC web site reports.

The swine at Pig Tales have been quarantined, McElroy said, but that's due to pseudorabies, a contagious viral disease that causes a high mortality rate among infant pigs. Pseudorabies does not pose a threat to humans, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Web site.

Nevertheless, Smith said he has given out a number of the free masks. "I've had quite a few people come in," Smith said Monday.

Smith's son-in-law, Andrew King, said hogs get loose every day from Pig Tales. He said the Flagler County Sheriff's Office told him and other neighbors that they can shoot trespassing pigs.

"When they get out and tear our property up, we kill them," King said.

He said in a police report that he took a shot at one of the pigs with his handgun on Thursday morning but missed.

About 15 minutes later, an angry Yazurlo wheeled her way onto his property.

He said he asked Yazurlo to leave, but she didn't.

"I was on my property and she came down there cussing and threatened to burn my house down and kill my wife and my baby," King said in an interview Monday, repeating what he said in a police report.

He said Yazurlo kept cussing and circling in her wheelchair.

"She's acting crazy. I just sat in my truck the whole time till the police got there," Smith said in the interview.

The Flagler Sheriff's Office has forwarded an assault complaint against Yazurlo to the State Attorney's Office, which will decide whether to charge her.

Yazurlo denied threatening King or his wife or son but admits being irate.

"I told him to go to hell or burn in hell and that was all I said to him," Yazurlo said Monday.

Yazurlo adds that she felt threatened by King and plans to file her own complaint, because she said King fired his rifle or shotgun in her direction. She said King claimed he was firing at a pig.

"He shot his shotgun in my direction and I never saw a pig," Yazurlo said.

King said that never happened.

"I did not fire in her direction," King said. "She was not even there when we ran the hog off my property."

King asked a deputy to warn Yazurlo not to trespass on his land anymore. Another neighboring property owner, Roy Hawkins, a potato farmer, also had her warned for trespassing. Hawkins issued the warning after spotting wheelchair tracks on his land.

Hawkins said about eight or 10 different people were shooting at the pigs, which did not do much damage to his potato crop.

"Not too badly, we got there before they could ruin it," Hawkins said.

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