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Opposing Industrial Animal Operations in the Yucatán Peninsula

A pig pushes his snout through metal bars.
srdjan111 / iStock

What’s at Stake

Industrial animal operations are notorious polluters, threatening air and water quality and human health.

The particular operation at issue in this lawsuit is expected to generate over 600 million pounds of urine and feces each year, more than is generated by the entire human population of Tijuana.


On behalf of conservation groups, scientists, doctors, and public-health experts, Earthjustice filed a legal brief with Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation supporting constitutional claims raised by Mayan children who oppose approval and operation of an industrial animal operation in the Yucatán Peninsula.

The lawsuit challenged a decision by Mexican authorities to permit a 49,000-hog industrial animal operation in an ecologically sensitive area near the Mayan town of Homún. The decision to allow the massive facility, despite risks to air and water quality and human health, violates the Mayan children’s rights to a healthy environment and to autonomy as Indigenous people, according to the suit.

The friend-of-the-court brief detailed substantial scientific evidence about the grave and irreversible harms to human health and the environment associated with industrial hog operations. These harms include contamination of water, including naturally occurring freshwater wells known as cenotes, emission of noxious air pollution, the spread of dangerous pathogens and contribution to climate change.

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