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Manitoba Adopts Balanced Approach to Revitalized Hog Production, Environmental Protection

6 April 2017, at 6:00am

CANADA - Manitoba's Minister of Agriculture is confident recent regulatory changes will stimulate a restoration of the province's hog production numbers while maintaining the safety of pork producers and their animals and protecting the environment, writes Bruce Cochrane.

In an effort to improve the competiveness of Manitoba's pork producers and stimulate a restoration of hog production volumes to levels that will allow the province's processors to operate at capacity the Manitoba government has made a series of regulatory changes including, in consultation with the Office of Manitoba's Fire Commissioner and the insurance industry, modernizing the agricultural building code, eliminating requirements for the use of anaerobic digesters on hog farms and has additional changes in the works.

Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler says reductions in hog numbers over the past 10 years have been problematic.

Ralph Eichler-Agriculture Minister Manitoba

We're a leader in the world in pork production but are we to where we need to be.

Companies like Maple Leaf right here in Brandon are running at 79 to 80 per cent of capacity which limits them to be able to meet the market demand.

In 2004 and 2005 we were running about 10 million hogs per year.

That number has dropped to about 7.4 million and companies like HyLife and Maple Leaf need to be competitive on the world markets so production levels are important but the environment is also very much important.

We found that balance.

We found that unique spot where we need to be in order to have the industry grow and, of course, the economy is so impacted by the production of livestock within our province and find that balance where the communities can keep their churches, their schools, their curling rinks, all those things that make Manitobans so resilient.

Mr Eichler suggests Manitoba has one of the best climates in the world with four of the best season changes.

He says they are the envy of the world and he encourages a celebration of that.

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