Take a break from worrying about PIIGS and worry about regular pigs for a minute. With all the bacon that Jason and I have been eating, we’ve apparently driven the price of pork up so high that there are full-blown pig-rustling operations in existence nowadays. Seriously, though, a combination of increased demand for succulent hog, and decreased supply of piggies at market (since all the corn is going into our cars nowadays and not into farm animals’ gullets, making them more pricey to raise, and thus not particularly lucrative despite the higher market value) has made hogjacking lucrative. At $200 per piggie, swiping a few swine here and there adds up.
A scene from the Iowa-Minnesota border:
The pig rustlers back trucks up to unguarded hog houses that contain thousands of pigs, according to police. They load up a few dozen animals at a time into a trailer and drive off under the cover of night.
“I feel cheated and a little bit violated,” said [Ryan] Bode, 37 years old, who started [Rebco Pork Company] with his parents in 1994. “We’re the ones doing all the work to get these pigs ready, and then it comes time to sell them and they’re just not here.” Mr. Bode said he suspected the thieves made three or four sorties, stealing 30 to 40 pigs at a time.
The culprits? It reeks of an inside job, as it’s unlikely there are underground bacon rings operating stealth slaughterhouses (I swear, I’ve been busy with work and not running one of these); suspects include other farmers or possibly someone who has made a deal with a meat processing plant.
We at LOLFed, naturally, wish a pox (or at least a swine flu) on these ne’er-do-wells interfering with the normal operations of the bacon supply chain. Let our porkers go!