Showing posts from July 26, 2017

Industrial hog production is leading to devastating issues for Manitoba

Vicki Burns and Janine Gibson. For the last three decades, hog production in Manitoba has become increasingly industrialized with the number of pigs per barn jumping to the thousands and the number of actual pig producers dropping from over 14,000 in 1971 to a mere 200 today. The pigs that are the basis of this industry are often referred to as animal units. The production system is under constant pressure to produce more piglets at less cost, resembling an industrial assembly line. The pigs never see the light of day or have the opportunity to root in straw or breathe fresh air. How far we have moved from family farming to this industrial model, where thousands of animals are kept inside buildings with minimal human contact, feed is automated and they must live above pits of their own feces and urine. This industrial hog production that dominates the Manitoba landscape is resulting in devastating issues that are in the headlines now. Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) has n