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Euthanasia - Only Option for Manitoba's Desperate Producers

by 5m Editor
14 April 2008, at 4:59pm

WINNIPEG - Desperate Manitoba pig producers, suddenly unable to ship young pigs to the United States, are preparing to euthanase hundreds of thousands of animals over the next few months.

Andrew Dickson, general manager of the Manitoba Pork Council, said the farmers have no choice as US farmers are breaking contracts to buy the three-week-old weaners. They are also worried about the impact of looming country-of-origin-labelling (COOL) legislation - to take Effect in the US come September.

"We'll have the animals brought to a central point. They'll be gassed with carbon dioxide in a special chamber and the animals will be taken away in special containers," Dickson said.

A report in the National Post says that up to 25,000 pigs a week will be disposed and the carcases will be taken to rendering plant in Winnipeg. The scheme is likely to begin late this week.

"It's not the farmers' fault; they've bred and raised the animals in good faith because they had a contract," said Mr Dickson. "This is dirty dealing by these American farmers."

He said that they are backing out of contracts to take the Manitoba piglets and its causing even more hardship to the industry.

Some farmers have tried to give the piglets away to other Manitoba farmers, but without success. That's because producers who feed pigs to market weight - more than 200 pounds - are losing between $40 and $50 an animal due to of rock-bottom market prices and sky-high feed costs.

View the National Post story by clicking here.

5m Editor