Tough Decisions Needed to Recover Increasing Costs

CANADA - Faced with uncertain future and the inability to recover record-high feed bills, Canadian hog farmers have no option but to slaughtering breeding stock and even young piglets to cut their losses and lift market prices.
calendar icon 16 April 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

Reports in the Vancouver Sun says that in Manitoba, farmers are working out contingency plans for the "extreme option" of euthanizing their piglets, said Karl Kynoch, a farmer and the chairman of the Manitoba Pork Council.

"It really goes against everything that a producer stands for," Kynoch said. "His mind-set for his whole life has been to raise food to supply people around the world ... and to care for animals in the best way possible."

Some have estimated that 25,000 piglets a week may have to be killed, but Kynoch said farmers are seeking alternatives.

"We're just making sure that we're prepared so that things don't get out of hand," he said, noting that some farmers may need a humane option if they are unable to pay for feed.

Meanwhile, Ottawa will pay hog farmers $50 million to shrink their adult breeding herd by about 10 per cent, or 150,000 animals.

But the president of the Canadian Pork Council warned the program may not be large enough to handle the rush for the exit.

View the Vancouver Sun story by clicking here.

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