Livestock Producers Encouraged to be Involved in Municipal Planning

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2040. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 24 January 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

Farm-Scape, Episode 2040

A professor with the University of Guelph is encouraging livestock operators to be proactive in their involvement in the local planning process to ensure rules that govern their operations will be reasonable and effective.

Dr. Wayne Caldwell, a professor with the University of Guelph's School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, says there tends to be a knee jerk reaction at times to the establishment of new livestock facilities and the change they represent.

He suggests producers should be involved in planning early on to establish good relations with neighbors.

"Rules that tend to regulate the establishment of livestock facilities, including hog producers for example, tend to be either locally in some parts of the country or they're based provincial in some parts of the country and it varies. Sometimes it'll be a mixture of both.

From my perspective it's really key that producers and producer organizations become involved in what I'll refer to as the planning process. That can be local municipal government.

It can also be influencing policy as it's developed provincially. That becomes the litmus test, if you like, by which new operations are evaluated. Do they meet these criteria, do they not?

More to the point, are those criteria based on good decisions, separation distances for example between livestock operations and neighboring residences, the amount of land base that might be available, good science going into the technology associated with nutrient and it's management for example.

All of those kinds of things, I think, are really key things that farmers and farm organizations need to be aware of, what's happening politically.

You can produce the best pig in the world but if the community that you're living within doesn't allow you to produce it it doesn't really matter."

Dr. Caldwell says it's important for producers to encourage the creation of good responsible rules that work for the industry but provide a high level of environmental protection and provide the community a level of confidence that production is being done to a high environmental standard with responsiveness to local community concerns.

He is believes that paves the way to a better relationship with the community.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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