Planet in Peril. "Where science gets respect." This recent satellite image shows a river of Saharan dust streaming out over the Mediterranean toward Italy. Credit: NASA
Pig Production Special Pilot Project - Evaluation Protocol In April of 2015, Manitoba Pork, in close consultation with, and as required by the Manitoba government, developed a new Pig Production Special Pilot Project - Evaluation Protocol (Protocol). This Protocol was designed to allow for new and expanded pig operations in the province.As I read the Rivers Banner, 23 Dec. "Public points to ponder for pigsr” and the letter by Ruth Pryzner regarding the denial of the hog factory application in the RM of Oakview, I have come to the ultimate conclusion that the Technical Review Committee (TRC) has very little interest in the protection of our waters, the environment or the health and social aspects of "The People". Digging a hole in the ground now, with two cells, to contain hog feces may be their version of "The Cutting Edge of Technology" to help promote the Hog Industry but how can that be justified when a “made-in Manitoba” study by Manitoba Conservation determined that earthen storages do in fact seep and eventually "leak," contaminating surface and ground water sources.Large -scale corporate hog production is one of the most contentious issues to confront rural North America in recent history.The social fabric of many communities has been ripped apart in the past by controversy between opposing views of these large-scale corporate hog operations.Hog factories can no longer be considered farming or agriculture, or even agri-business.This is industry, pure and simple. We must remember that this is not a natural or inevitable evolution of agriculture. This is a deliberate plan by a handful of investors and corporations to profit from consolidation, and ultimately control the hog industry to their advantage. ( ie: Maple Leaf and Hy-Life Foods).Disease is very commonplace in these operations, and now with a new super bug to deal with in the U.S. ( which doctors have been dreading ) one might think, there would be a move to alter how hogs are raised ! Sadly, I doubt that will happen. You see, the history of the hog industry in Manitoba, as in most other provinces, has largely been one of weak or inadequate regulation, with little credible provincial oversight and enforcement. Actually, regulators and government bureaucrats are more attuned to promote economic expansion than to protect the public interest or the health issues of the animals themselves. That’s what was evidently shown at the Oakview conditional use hearing. It's all about investor economic gain at a cost to environment, water and rural people’s health.As citizens of this country, we need to decide what kind of a country we want to live in. A healthy, vibrant, rural economy with family farms? We need to restore public confidence in the food system which is currently very low. We need to develop a food supply system that does not destroy community here in Manitoba, Canada or in other countries. Real farmers must be valued for the contribution they make to our society. Sadly, this is not taking place in Manitoba. It’s fortunate that the public good, concerns for our health, the environment and protection to our water sources was given priority by the Oakview Council. It is obvious provincial officials and the engineer of record did not
It should come as no surprise that proposals for new hog barns today are no more popular than they used to be. It is a flawed system which is just plain wrong on so many levels. But as long as big bucks are at stake, they will never go away, I'm afraid.
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