Alberta Pork Urges Provincial Government to Provide BSE Support to Hog Producers

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1409. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 19 December 2003
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Manitoba Pork Council

Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1409

Alberta's pork industry is urging the provincial government to come across with financial support help producers in that province who are struggling to contend with the effects of the BSE crisis.

Difficulties in the swine industry actually date back to 1998-99 when hog prices collapsed, followed by successive years of drought with mediocre hog prices and this year a tremendous spinout from BSE.

Alberta Pork Assistant General Manager Paul Hodgman says these developments were all outside the control of hog producers.

"Last year tried to get in on some of the drought offset programs that were available in Alberta but none of them were really designed to address the needs of most hog producers unless they had a large land base, so we were unsuccessful there.

This year we can definitely show, with the research that we've done and others have done independently, that there is a definite cost due to the BSE that we're now incurring in terms of rendering, trucking, disposal of animals, the lack of ability in many places to use meat and bone meal as a result of this.

We estimate there's probably about a 16 dollar touch to us because of BSE. These are things that are completely outside of the control of the pork producer.

There have been programs nationally and provincially to look after the cattle industry in their time of need, and rightly so.

We're very supportive of that but other commodities have been affected just as much. Some have gotten some forms of assistance here in Alberta but the pork industry has not been able to receive anything".

Hodgman says there are several long term issues to be addressed, but the short term problems are pressing, they need to be dealt with and producers are getting desperate.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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