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Thousands of pigs killed in Northern Ireland farm fire; arsonists blamed

Northern Ireland authorities say thousands of pigs have been killed in a suspected arson attack.

Authorities said Monday that a dozen fire crews spent seven hours battling the weekend blaze at a farm near the village of Bessbrook. Firefighters said 4,300 pigs had died, while the farm owner put the estimate at less than half that. Police said it was too early to confirm any figure.

Trucks spent much of Monday carrying away the torched carcasses of the animals — most of them piglets, the rest sows.

The Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals denounced the incident. Dominic Bradley, a local representative of the Northern Ireland Assembly, said it was "disgusting to think that such a horrible death could have been inflicted on defenseless animals deliberately."

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