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Parts from hogs that police say were severely neglected remain strewn in the yard of a southern Manitoba farm. ((CBC))

The Manitoba government and the RCMP are investigating what they're calling a case of severe neglect of thousands of hogs at a southern Manitoba farm.

Investigators spent the weekend removing dead and sick hogs from a barn on a farm in the community of Notre Dame de Lourdes, 100 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.

As many as 500 dead animals were taken out of the barn and a further 160 had to be killed, veterinary officials said. More than 2,000 were rescued, but some are very sick, officials said.

A man on a nearby Hutterite colony that sells feed to the farm said he hadn't gotten an order in a long time and went to investigate, said CBC reporter Lyndsay Duncombe.

On arrival at the farm, the man said he found the feed bins full. He discovered the dead and sick hogs when he poked his head into the barn, Duncombe said.

RCMP said in a statement that "clear evidence of severe neglect was observed" by officers called to the scene. The statement did not say if criminal charges were being considered.

The president of Manitoba's pork council described the case as "devastating."

"As an industry, we don't condone this type of treatment to animals. We go out of our way to make sure that animals are taken care of properly," Karl Kynoch said.

"They provide us with a living and that's what we do — we raise animals and take care of them — so it's very devastating to the industry to hear this type of thing," he said.

The provincial agriculture ministry and veterinary officials are investigating.