Agriculture Ministry Seeking to Move All of Israel's Pig Farms to Country's South

NIS 300 million project aims to reduce pollution and give animals more living space; Israel has 26 pig farms, mostly in non-Jewish towns in the north.

Ilan Lior
Ilan Lior
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Ilan Lior
Ilan Lior

The Agriculture Ministry wants all 26 of Israel's pig farms to be moved from the north of the country to the south as part of a NIS 300 million project aimed at reducing pollution in residential areas and giving the swine more space, in accordance with European Union guidelines.

It's up to the Interior Ministry to revise a law restricting pig farming to specified non-Jewish towns in the north, particularly the Galilee town of Ibillin, where most of the farms are located. That ministry has yet to respond to the Agriculture Ministry's request, which was made on the basis of recommendations by a joint agriculture and environment ministry committee.

"The committee is recommending the adoption of the European [Union] directive on the matter of animal rights and instituting guidelines in accordance with that, with an emphasis on a significant reduction of the instances in which it is permitted to keep pigs in isolated pens," the panel said in a report submitted to the Agriculture Ministry.

The committee said the government should consider paying for the bigger and more environmentally friendly pig farms. Panel members said they hoped Interior Minister Eli Yishai would not hesitate to deal with the issue, given that pigs are considered the epitome of non-kosher animals and that Yishai heads the ultra-Orthodox Shas party. Pigs are not eaten by religious Muslims either.

Other committee recommendations include higher pig pens with good air circulation, in a bid to reduce ammonia emissions and bad odors. The panel also said sows should be given more space to suckle their young and that the space for piglets should be expanded while they are being fattened for slaughter.

In addition to Ibillin, other northern cities and towns currently allowed to host pig farms include Nazareth, Kafr Yasif and Mi'ilya.

A new project seeks to reduce pollution and give pigs more breathing room.Credit: Eyal Tueg
A pig farm in Ibilin. Credit: Eyal Tueg



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott