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Manitoba Hog Farmers Plead for Gov't Help

by 5m Editor
23 June 2009, at 9:18am

MANITOBA, CANADA - Manitoba hog producers want the province to step in with an emergency bailout.

The producers say their industry is on the verge of collapse because of high feed prices, fluctuating currency exchange rates and low pork prices.

They want the provincial government to provide a short-term bailout for hog farmers, similar to programs set up in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Manitoba Pork Council president Karl Kynoch said hog producers are to make their case Monday night to politicians at a meeting in Morris, Man., about 70 kilometres south of Winnipeg.

Mr Kynoch told CBC News he hopes the province doesn't turn them down as the federal government did. He said if hog producers fail, many other jobs in trucking and meat packing would also be lost.

"A lot of people don't realize the effect it's going to have, but it is going to reduce trucking jobs, veterinary jobs. There will be feed mills that will shut down, and a tremendous amount of spinoff jobs. And if we lose too many producers, at the end of the day we're going to lose packers and that will turn into thousands more jobs that will be lost in this industry."

Mr Kynoch said many producers have cleaned out their savings accounts and retirement funds, and are on the verge of quitting. He acknowledged the best long-term solution for the industry is a worldwide cull to reduce the number of hogs.

"I'm really hoping that tonight is not about politicking. This is about producers and government being able to come up with some ideas to try to get us a long-term strategy and try to get us some help to bridge the short-term financing to get us back to the profit margin."

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