(Winnipeg April 27, 2022) – Hog Watch Manitoba is asking for help for rural residents whose lives are negatively impacted by noxious odours from neighbouring hog barns. Those bad smells are not just a nuisance but can contain toxic gases that have human health impacts.
“Hog Watch Manitoba recently purchased a hydrogen sulfide gas monitoring device ACRULOG H2S to measure gases causing foul smells for rural residents” says Vicki Burns, Hog Watch Manitoba spokesperson. “We don’t have any government support like the inspectors who take measurements in the city. The Manitoba government seems to expect rural residents to put up with it as a routine cost of living in the country”.
Recent readings from one location near a hog barn have documented high levels of hydrogen sulfide. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) exposure to hydrogen sulfide may cause irritation to the eyes and respiratory system. It can also cause apnea, coma, convulsions; dizziness, headache, weakness, irritability, insomnia; stomach upset.
Over the years Hog Watch Manitoba has heard many stench related complaints from rural residents. “We felt that we needed to collect actual data to prove that this is a legitimate health concern and not simply a nuisance. We are asking the province of Manitoba to require odour mitigation measures around all factory hog barns in Manitoba” explains Janine Gibson, Secretary of Hog Watch Manitoba. “This is an interim measure until we can shift the industry to smaller, straw-based barns that are environmentally sustainable, treat the animals and the human workers in a more ethical manner and are economically stable”.
Hog Watch Manitoba is a coalition of farmers, environmentalists, animal welfare advocates, scientists and rural residents who are advocating for a move away from industrial factory style barns to smaller straw-based farms that are environmentally, ethically, and economically sustainable. Hog Watch Manitoba - What's the Big Stink?