Food Bank Program to Put Cull Breeding Swine to Good Use

CANADA - The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board says an initiative designed to divert pork from culled breeding stock to food banks will ensure that meat is put to a good use, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 25 April 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Earlier this month the Saskatchewan government announced it will provide 440 thousand dollars to help cover the cost of processing Saskatchewan hogs culled under the Federal Cull Breeding Swine Program.

Under the national program swine producers are eligible to receive 225 dollars for each breeding animal culled however, after April 14, meat from those culled animals may not enter the commercial food chain.

Sask Pork general manager Neil Ketilson says, in order to avoid having that pork wasted, the pork development board contacted the food banks who in turn contacted the province to request funding to process these animals into useful products for people in need across Saskatchewan.

Neil Ketilson-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board

We estimate the number of sows to be culled out of Saskatchewan to be around two thousand over the life span of the project.

Most of them weigh between 300 and 450 pounds.

Any time you have good quality meat that is being taken out of the system and there's good reasons that they didn't want it to go back into the human food chain basically and those reasons were that there was more than normal amounts of sows coming into the system.

The people that normally market these animals weren't able to handle them in a timely fashion and things like that so that's why the rule was originally put in pace.

But it seems a shame to not utilize very good protein and so if there's people that need it and those that need and there was an opportunity to put it into a different system we thought it was a very worthwhile project.

Ketilson estimates the cull program will result in a 10 percent reduction of the province's breeding herd.

However, he notes, a good number of animals were taken out of the system before April 14 when the provision barring culled animals from the commercial food chain took effect.

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