‘Pigs fly’ Lambert airport performs first-ever live animal export


ST. LOUIS – To hear the saying “that’ll happen when pigs fly” usually mean it’ll never happen. However, pigs flew for the first time out of St. Louis Lambert International Airport Thursday morning.

The airport had their first-ever live animal export, shipping more than 200 breeding pigs from Henderson, Tenn. to Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Breeding animals is a twenty billion dollar a year global industry with demands increasing during pandemic restrictions.

St. Louis is said to be a perfect location and one of the best airport facilities for the transportation of live animals.

“It’s a customized penning facility, 18,000 square feet at Lambert. It’s one of the only facilities where it’s based on airport ground,” Executive Director of the World Trade Center of St. Louis Tim Nowak said.

The facility is extremely important when it comes to the care of animals especially because time is of the essence.

The airport can make transportation happen quickly.

“We have a facility that’s designated to ship pigs, cattle, horses, for breeding purposes to Asia, South America, and all throughout the world,” Nowak said.

Several groups like the World Trade Center of St. Louis and the Midwest Cargo Pub Commission contributed to the project.

“We’re right here in the mid part of U.S…so pigs could come from anywhere or around in Missouri or around the state of Missouri,” Nowak said.

The transportation of live animals actually began a decade ago when the St. Louis area tried to secure a relationship with China.

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