Westport dairy farm under scrutiny for dead pig, permit violation

WESTPORT, Mass. (WPRI) — A Westport dairy farm is facing scrutiny after a Mass. Department of Agricultural Resources inspector found a dead pig on the property.

Martin’s Cheese Co. owner Alan Martin told Eyewitness News he is also in violation of a permit allowing him to have four pigs on the property; Martin said he currently has 35 pigs.

The dead pig and permitting violation were discovered last week when a state inspector visited Martin’s property on Sodom Road. Martin said he will now have to go before the Westport Board of Health on May 1, and inspectors will return to his property on Monday.

On social media, animal advocates posted claims that Martin had 100 pigs running loose in the woods, and that other pigs had eaten the carcass of the dead sow. Martin said those claims are untrue, and although the pigs had broken through their enclosure, they remained on his 135-acre property.

Martin said the dead pig died from natural causes and had been laying outside for one to two weeks before the inspection. He said he had been meaning to remove the carcass, but hadn’t gotten around to it.

“Anybody that knows me knows my animals are all good,” said Martin, who showed Eyewitness News his cattle and pigs. He said his family has owned the farm and business since 1927.

Martin blames the “over-exaggerated” claims about his farm on the recent case of widespread animal cruelty at the tenant farm on American Legion Highway. Last summer, 1,400 animals were found living on the tenant farm in squalid conditions, leading last month to the indictment of 27 people on animal cruelty charges.

Westport Police said they are not involved in the investigation at Martin’s Cheese Co.

Requests for comment from state and town officials were not immediately returned Saturday afternoon.