Animal Care, Environment: Top Research Priorities

by 5m Editor
24 March 2011, at 9:40am

CANADA - Manitoba Pork Council says animal care and the environment are among the top research priorities under the organization's newly announced plan for achieving long-term sustainability of the province's pork industry, Bruce Cochrane writes.

Last week in Winnipeg, Manitoba Pork Council unveiled a new plan which outlines its vision for the long-term sustainability of pork production.

The document "Embracing a Sustainable Future" outlines 82 commitments covering a range of issues including green farming, odor and farm location, caring for animals, worker safety, food safety, trade relations, education and awareness and investing in research.

Manitoba Pork Council chair Karl Kynoch says the plan outlines what pork producers are doing, what they're working on and what they're planning on doing.

Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council

A couple of the main things that we're going to be moving forward on here right now, we've been doing it in the past and will continue, but the environment.

The environment is always a concern to producers and producers want to do what's best for the environment.

We live on the land and we drink the water from the land and we want to be able to make sure that we leave a good environment for our children and grandchildren.

The other thing that we're going to be working on right now is animal care.

There's been a lot of pressure over the past for the stalls that we use for the sows so we've been doing research on different alternatives for housing and we're going to continue to really push forward on doing research on housing because the one thing that producers are not prepared to do is take a step backwards.

Today that's the best method that we've found to do it but we are always looking for change and new innovative ideas so that's why we're doing the research because when we do make a change we want to make sure it's a step forward and not a step backwards.

Mr Kynoch says when a producer has to change to a new system, he doesn't want to spend a lot of money on equipment that won't work.

He notes strategies or equipment that work in other regions might not work in Manitoba because of the region's environmental conditions so we need to test those things on a smaller scale before they are adopted on the farm.

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