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Authorities Investigate Hog Dumping

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EDGECOMBE COUNTY — A creek that supplies some of the drinking water for one Edgecombe County town may be contaminated.

Parts of 13 hog carcasses were found floating in the Beach Branch, which eventually flows into the Tar River.

The hogs were actually found in the Beach Branch Monday, and crews are trying to remove them.

Seeing the remains of 13 hogs dumped into the Beach Branch has upset the head of the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation.

The Beach Branch feeds into the Tar River. The Foundation says that the waste of just one hog could deplete the oxygen levels that the fish here depend on.

"It's pretty bad," said Jim Stephenson of the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation. "We haven't seen anything this bad in 1998."

About half the hogs were found at one part of the Beach Branch. The rest were found slightly downstream. Now, the investigation begins.

"Someone had actually cleaned or gutted or processed these animals and just threw the remains in the creek," said Buster Towle, an N.C. Environmental Specialist.

"I hope they can do something. The state will clean that out of there. It doesn't belong there. Pigs don't live in water, and they shouldn't die in water," said Stephenson.

The folks in Tarboro who get water from the Tar River are not that concerned, because the water treatment plant processes it.

They may perform one or two extra tests to make sure that there are no problems with the water.

Several agencies, including the state and the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Department, are looking into the matter.

If they do catch whoever is responsible, the culprit or culprits could face thousands of dollars in fines.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
Ron Pittman, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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