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Regional Hog Industry Moratoriums to be Permanent

by 5m Editor
25 September 2008, at 10:50am

CANADA - Three regional moratoriums on hog industry expansion in Manitoba will soon be made permanent to protect water and the environment after the formal passage of Bill 17, Conservation Minister Stan Struthers announced.

The bill received third and final reading on Wednesday, the last step before receiving royal assent. "This bill ensures the old practice of unsustainable industry growth in hog alley has been permanently halted," the minister said. "This bill is consistent with the Clean Environment Commission's direction to strengthen our plan to ensure we protect our land and water." The three regions affected by the moratoriums include:

  • Southeastern Manitoba: This region is classified as an intensively developed area, meaning it does not have sufficient land base to allow for further sustainable spreading of livestock manure.
  • The Red River Valley Special Management Area: This high-risk area, which includes the Capital Region of the province, was identified by the Phosphorus Expert Committee as a vulnerable region because it is a flood-prone area.
  • The Interlake: This region borders on Lake Winnipeg to the east and Lake Manitoba to the west. In addition, wetlands and other marginal and ecologically sensitive land make the region unsuitable for further hog industry expansion.

Industry expansion in these regions has been halted since November 2006 when the minister announced a province-wide industry pause. The ban was lifted in all but three regions of the province following the release of the Clean Environment Commission's report on the environmental sustainability of the hog industry in March.

Minister Struthers said, during that time, expansion was allowed for producers who introduced new technologies such as anaerobic digesters and a combination of separators and other systems that enhance environmental protection.

He said Bill 17 allows that practice to continue.

"Our position from day one has been the industry can grow, but not at the expense of the environment," the minister said.

"By promoting a sustainable hog industry, we are restoring the public's confidence that producers can conduct business and still protect our water."

5m Editor