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Pork Producers Challenged to Ensure Accurate Information is Circulated

2 November 2012, at 9:17am

CANADA - The swine business unit director with Pfizer Animal Health suggests, with the speed of modern communication through social media, pork producers are increasingly challenged to ensure information communicated to the public about their industry is correct, writes Bruce Cochrane.

"Production Tips, What has Changed?" will be among the topics discussed as part of Manitoba Pork Council's semi-annual meeting Wednesday in Portage La Prairie and Thursday in Niverville.

Dr Walter Heuser, the swine business unit director with Pfizer Animal Health observes, social media has made the public much more aware of issues related to livestock production.

Dr Walter Heuser-Pfizer Animal Health:

Advances in communication and the speed with which communication takes place now a days with social media and the different ways that we're able to communicate more quickly makes the public much more aware of what's happening in animal production in all aspects, whether that be from a disease standpoint or a welfare standpoint.

For instance several years ago there was an influenza virus that got labelled swine flu that really originated from Mexico but it really got labelled as the swine flu which wasn't necessarily the case but it caused a lot of economic injury to our industry for a period of time.

It made the general public concerned that they were going to pick up a problem from buying pork for instance. Welfare issues, the use of gestation stalls, castration are becoming much more public through different communication media that the public is becoming much more aware and are influencing the way we have to manage pork production.

The challenges are ensuring that a proper message gets to the public and that they're aware of what's going on but that it be managed in a correct manner so that it is the correct information getting to the public.

Dr Heuser also encourages open communication among producers so they can learn what others are doing to avoid problems and control costs and what works.

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