Sask Pork Calls for Solutions to the Crisis BSE is Causing in Pork Industry

by 5m Editor
13 January 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1423. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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 1423

Sask Pork is urging policy makers, government and the public to join in the search for solutions to the crisis BSE is creating within the swine industry.

Typically prices in the pork industry are cyclical but the discovery of BSE in Canada in May disrupted that cycle and last month's discovery of BSE in the US threatens to prolong that disruption.

Sask Pork General Manager Neil Ketilson says the cattle industry has held the spotlight but swine producers have also been directly affected and the entire pork industry is experiencing losses.

"In a year that we would have traditionally seen a recovery of the market place, the incident with mad cow in May has really caused a number of things.

Firstly, a bit of a softer demand for pork relative to beef when the public was supporting the industry and secondly increased costs on the rendering and feed side of the issue.

That's caused an approximately 15 dollar reduction in prices for all producers in the province. Average prices for 2003 were 125 dollars as compared to the long term average of about 145 dollars.

In addition to the BSE the currency issue has also had a very significant impact on us. When you consider that the Canadian currency has increased about 20 percent relative to what it was last January.

The currency issue plus the BSE issue has really had a tremendous impact on the hog industry in the province".

Ketilson is urging government, policy makers and the public to work together to find solutions to the situation.

He says we need to be creative in developing the strategies that will address the damage being done to the pork industry as a result of BSE that will not invite the US to impose countervail duties.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor