From the Chilliwack Progress Archives: Smell from hog farm makes alderman sick

In February of 1976, citizens were upset about the stench arising from Abram Rahn’s farm.

Since first publishing on April 16, 1891 the Chilliwack Progress has been the newspaper of record in Chilliwack.

One hundred and 28 years later the Progress remains the longest continuously published newspaper in British Columbia. With the addition of a thriving digital operation anchored by theprogress.com, the Progress delivers more news to more people than ever before.

‘From the Progress Archives’ is a journey into the past, to see what was making news decades ago.

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Headline: Township holds off on hog odor bylaw

Date: February 11, 1976

Reporter: Unknown

Township’s anti-odor bylaw aimed at Prest Road hog farm owner Abram Rahn has been tabled, but it can be adopted within 24 hours by a special meeting of council.

Tabling of the bylaw was decided upon Monday after presentations were made to council by a representative of the Department of Agriculture and one from a swine breeders’ association.

They were backed by a number of farmers in the visitors’ gallery and Alderman Fred Bryant.

Ernie Barber of the Department of Agriculture told council a number of local farmers including Mr. Rahn have indicated their willingness to participate in an experimental odor control program based on aeration.

Swine committee representative Ross Hudson urged council to give him time to set up a meeting with those upset about the smell. He also plans an inspection of the Rahn farm.

Claiming concern for “the livestock industry as a whole,” Ald. Bryant made a number of objections. He saw the bylaw as a “dangerous precedent.” He urged that the swine breeders’ committee be given time to prepare a report on the Rahn farm.

Alderman Less Russell described the situation faced by about 800 who signed a petition over hog manure fumes emitted from the farm.

“These people are living in fear of the next time the button is pressed,” he said.

He noted that the process tends to occur at meal times and on weekends.

He said the fumes emitted from Rahn’s aeration of manure process literally make one sick.

“It took me nearly a week to get over it,” he said, describing the last time council visited the area to sample the situation.

Ald. Dorothy Kostrzewa told council she has been called out to smell the situation several times.

“I always drive out with a window open to see just where it hits, and it depends on the wind,” she said.

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