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Pig stall fire in Sax

Part of a pig stall in Sax (St. Gallen) burned down at the beginning of the year. It was a tough blow for Werner Kuralti, who had only taken over the operation the year before. Thanks to the solidarity of the surrounding towns housing was quickly found for the surviving animals. Helvetia stood by the tenant farmer’s side and helped him during the reconstruction process.

13 May 2020, text: Olena Faes and Natascha Fabian, photo: Helvetia

Werner Kuralti’s pig stall in Sax.
On 6 January 2020, part of Werner Kuralti’s pig stall in Sax burned down.

On the morning of 6 January 2020, Werner Kuralti was awakened from his sleep by a terrible surprise: Sections of his stall were in flames. It was an enormous shock. He needed to act straight away. The animals that were still alive had to be saved quickly. In an interview, Mr Kuralti explained what happened.

What were your thoughts during this unfortunate event and how were the next few days?

“When I saw the fire I immediately ran to the stall. I could see the fire through the window, and I quickly realised the extent of the catastrophe. The first thing I needed to do was save the animals: 58 sows and two boars had survived the fire. Room had to be made for them in the fattening stall. Thanks to the help of some friends, I was able to find a home for the surviving animals in another stall by the next day. I was really happy about this, as it was a great weight off of my shoulders. Things aren’t the same any more because I now have to do more physical work and management has changed because of the stall’s new logistics, but at least I found space for the animals. The coronavirus doesn’t make the entire situation easier either because now I have to do everything by myself. As a result, things are now a bit slower than normal.”

What were the considerations in terms of rebuilding the stall?

“My goal was to have the stall rebuilt by Christmas. Thanks to the quick and straightforward support I received from Helvetia claims employee Heinz Müller and the others involved this is entirely possible. I want to take advantage of the reconstruction to optimise the stall and the available space. In this way, at least I’ll be able to take something positive from the whole experience. Things will be better for my animals in the future.”

Over the past several months, Heinz Müller has been a huge help for stall owner Werner Kuralti. When this sort of misfortune strikes, a claims employee is the first on-site point of contact for customers. After the initial shock had passed, the two worked together to discuss the next steps. The most important question was: What was to be rebuilt? Some systems were older than others. For this reason, the first step was to review what made sense, what was worth rebuilding and what fit in with the production cycle. The permits for Werner Kuralti’s project are currently being reviewed by the authorities. Once they have been approved the project can proceed.

We wish Werner Kuralti and his animals all the best and hope that his wish is fulfilled: That the new stall will be up and running by Christmas.

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