CANADA - The mayor of the city of Brandon suggests decisions on future hog industry expansion within Manitoba should be less about politics and more about science, writes Bruce Cochrane.
As the result of regulations imposed by the provincial government in 2011 aimed at improving the water quality of Lake Winnipeg, including a moratorium on new hog barn construction, the number of hogs produced in Manitoba has fallen steadily, impacting the ability of the province's pork processors to access the volumes of hogs needed to maintain capacity.
Brandon Mayor Rick Crest says since being elected last month he has discussed the situation with representatives of Manitoba Pork Council and plans to meet with representatives of Maple Leaf and the provincial government and believes everyone needs to work together to work out a solution.
Rick Crest-Mayor of Brandon:
My view is these things should probably be less about politics if you will and more about science.
I would certainly be more in favor of turning the matter over to the recommendations of the scientists if you want to call them that to figure out, here are the numbers that we need to meet with respect to either effluent or manure disposal, any of the side effects if you want to call it that and let's then puzzle out between those big brains the best way to achieve that.
If we can meet the science then I don't see a reason why it can't proceed and take some of the emotion and politics out of it.
Mr Crest suggests the province and the pork industry need to continue to communicate and work together toward a solution that will meet the goals of both.
He says he is prepared to be involved in any discussions and any efforts that may be needed to help this process along.
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