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Hog Industry Expected to Seize Culling cash

by 5m Editor
28 February 2008, at 9:02am

MANITOBA - Manitoba's beleaguered hog producers have welcomed news that the federal budget has set aside $50 million to aid farmers.

The support, announced earlier this week, will help fund culling programmes as producers rationalise or move out of pig production.

According to CBC News, Manitoba Pork Council expects about 10 per cent of producers will take the federal government up on its offer to reduce the sow population. The industry has been struggling as the cost of feed soars, while the price producers are paid for their pork falls.

Council manager Andrew Dickson estimates more than 100 farmers in the province will cull their herds — collecting more than $200 per head — and likely get out of the hog business for good.

About 36,000 sows could be slaughtered in Manitoba, but the meat from the animals, which is suitable for sausages or meat pies, will not make it to market, Dickson said.

The government does not want to risk raising the ire of the American hog industry by offering the excess sow meat on the human consumption market, he said, so the sows have to be either used in pet food or composted.

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5m Editor