Environmental Regulations Concern Pork Producers

CANADA - Manitoba's pork producers are expressing concern over crippling environmental regulations that have forced many small and medium sized operations out of business, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 30 November 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

The cost of complying with environmental regulations imposed over the past ten years on Manitoba's pork industry has been among the key issues dominating discussion during Manitoba Pork Council's annual general meetings this fall.

Over the past three years the number Manitoba hog operations has fallen by about half.

Manitoba Pork Council chair Karl Kynoch blames losses over the past four years combined with the cost of complying with new environmental demands.

Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council

We've just seen an overwhelming amount of regulations passed in the last ten years.

In fact somewhere between 30 to 50-some new regulations have come out of government in the past ten years and farmers just aren't able to keep up with the pace of this.

What really becomes a challenge is when you start implementing regulation with no science or research to back it.

For example we have the 2013 spread dates coming up this winter and that is definitely going to hurt a huge amount of the middle to small farmers, especially the family farm.

It's going to force a lot of them out of business.

In fact at every district meeting there was basically a producer there that would be either looking at shutting down the operation or planning to do it in the future or currently doing it.

The cost is overwhelming to go the no winter spreading for the family farm so we're going to see a lot of family farms that are going to shut down over the next couple of years.

Just the other night, again, we were at meetings there where you're looking at second and third generation farms that have always had pigs and they're actually very discouraged that they're actually having to close those barns down.

Mr Kynoch notes in its 2006 final report to Manitoba's Minister of Conservation the Manitoba Phosphorus Expert Committee recommended the province assist pork producers in complying with new environmental regulations.

He says while new regulations have been imposed producers have been left on their own to adapt to them.

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