Call for Action to Ensure Adequate Hog Supplies

by 5m Editor
12 January 2012, at 8:46am

CANADA - The Mayor of Brandon is urging the Manitoba government to take steps that will ensure the province's pork processors are able to access the supplies of hogs necessary to maintain the viability of their packing plants, Bruce Cochrane writes.

The Save Lake Winnipeg Act, passed in June 2011, contains new provisions aimed at reducing the amount of nutrients entering Lake Winnipeg including new restrictions on hog production.

Maple Leaf Foods and Hylife Foods have expressed concern over the impact the legislation could have on their ability to source the number of hogs required to maintain the capacity of their hog slaughtering plants.

Brandon Mayor Shari Decter Hirst says no one denies there are real issues with water quality in Lake Winnipeg but she suggests it's a multi-faceted issue.

Shari Decter Hirst-Mayor of Brandon

What we need to do is figure out how we can manage hog waste within the province better.

How are we going to be doing that so it doesn't impact the hog producer in a negative way?

Again there is some real pressures on hog producers to meet current environmental standards and I'm not saying they shouldn't be meeting environmental standards.

What I'm saying is let's figure out a way of doing it in an economical fashion.

We also need to understand though what the unintended consequences of that hog moratorium is on a community like Brandon, a community like Neepawa, any community that is relying on agriculture for its bread and butter because I don't believe that that was the intent.

Let's figure out how we can save the lake but how can we also do it and have a vibrant hog sector as well in our province.

Mayor Decter Hirst says it's easy to have a knee jerk response because of the significant consequences, but what we really need to do is look at it from a long term perspective, come up with the right solution for the lake, the right solution for producers and the right solution for Maple Leaf and the City of Brandon.