CANADA - Research conducted on behalf of Manitoba Pork indicates that the majority of the public feel pork producers adhere to the highest environmental and animal care standards and should be allowed to build new hog barns, writes Bruce Cochrane.
As part of a strategic planning exercise earlier this year Manitoba Pork engaged Probe Research to gather feedback about how the council is performing, and how it's meeting the needs of producers and consumers.
The study included an on line survey of about 100 producers, a telephone questionnaire with two focus groups, a telephone interview with 12 key stakeholders not directly involved in farm production, and a survey of about 1,000 members of the general public in Winnipeg, rural Manitoba and northern Manitoba.
Manitoba Pork general manager Andrew Dickson says members of the general public were asked 4 key questions.
Andrew Dickson-Manitoba Pork:
One was where did they get their information about the industry and that's very helpful to us.
Is it television, is it newspapers and so on and so that will help us in terms of how we communicate with them.
Then we asked them some questions about the ban on hog barns, the moratorium that's been in place or was in place for the last 7 years, and then their perception of how they felt as the general public about our industry's environmental practices and animal care practices.
Some of the results were kind of interesting.
Over the majority of the respondents, the people who were interviewed, felt the producers should be allowed to build new barns, which was a very positive signal for us.
And over half the respondents believed strongly or modestly strongly that producers follow the highest standards in their practices in animal care and sound environmental practices.
This is very helpful to us because it means we're starting to get a message across and it's not as doom and gloom as some of the animal activists try to portray and the public is obviously more balanced in their views on this matter.
Dickson says the study will be used in Manitoba Pork's program planning over the next 3 to 4 years and posted to its web site.
ThePigSite News Desk