Showing posts with label Bad Business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bad Business. Show all posts

Monday, November 22, 2021


 Manitoba/Canada News Release


The governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing $2.2 million in three agricultural research projects, to be conducted by Topigs Norsvin Canada (TN), that will enhance the competitiveness of Manitoba pork producers by improving the precision feeding of sows and promoting higher animal welfare standards, Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Ralph Eichler announced today.

"These innovative projects will give the pork industry more tools in their sustainability toolbox," said Bibeau. "They will help to improve feeding and housing for the pigs, which leads to better resource efficiency and a reduced environmental footprint for producers. Topigs Norsvin plays a big role in making Canada a global leader in swine genetics, and we are proud to support their work."

"Our government is pleased to support the work of our producers through these innovative projects that will accelerate agricultural innovation, promote knowledge transfer to producers, advance value-added opportunities, strengthen competitiveness and support sustainable agricultural development in our provincial pork industry," said Eichler. "The results of these projects will be valuable in our continuing efforts to strengthen the sustainability of our provincial pork industry."

The three research projects, which will help the pork industry be more environmentally and economically sustainable, will focus on:

improving competitiveness and sustainability of pork production through increased feed efficiency, improved carcass quality and higher animal welfare standards by innovative application of microbiome profiling, computer tomography and genomics;

advancing sow reproductive knowledge and management practices for optimal lifetime productivity and embryo transfer success; and innovative application of artificial intelligence, machine learning, behavioural science and genomics to enhance resource efficiency for environmental sustainability of sow farms in Manitoba using welfare friendly production.

Funding is provided by the Ag Action Manitoba Program-Research and Innovation, through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The funded research will be beneficial to the province's first-of-its-kind sustainable protein strategy, ensuring Manitoba producers are well-positioned to remain leaders in plant and animal protein development in the face of increased global demand for high-quality protein, the minister added.

A key element of the strategy includes using innovation to grow livestock herds for animal protein and new acres for plant protein, while ensuring Manitoba remains a strong environment for investment and is responsive to the needs of producers.

TN is establishing an over $30-million new research and development facility in Plumas, Manitoba. It is to be completed by the end of 2022 and is aimed at sow management, where the funded projects will be conducted and results shared with industry stakeholders. The first of its kind in the world, these projects will utilize leading-edge artificial intelligence, computer vision, behavioural research, and precision feeding to generate a database comprised of important animal health and welfare data.

"Topigs Norsvin continuously monitors international developments in the pork industry and prides itself as a leader in the sector," said Hans Olislagers, Chief Technical Officer, Topigs Norsvin. "Implementation of loose housing of sows during farrowing is already legislated in several countries and we recognize our responsibility to breed and select pigs while maintaining the integrity of animal welfare. This assures our customers that our genetics will fit the housing systems and market demands of the future."

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion investment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen and grow Canada's agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sectors. This commitment includes $2 billion for programs cost-shared by the federal, provincial and territorial governments that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.


In Hogs we Trust - Part 11

$$The Price we Pay for Corporate Pork$$

- 30 -

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Alaska oil bid alarms scientists

Science Magazine

Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - Canning River/ by Jan Reurink. 
View map here.

Mapping plan for Arctic refuge ignores risks, critics say. Story here.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Sunday, November 29, 2020

On Wells and Wellness: Oil and Gas Flaring as a Potential Risk Factor for Preterm Birth

Environmental Health Perspectives
Cattle graze in a field as gas flares from a pumping installation on the Eagle Ford Shale in Karnes County, Texas. The shale oil boom is going strong on a formation that stretches for about 500 kilomtres across south Texas, one of the most prolific oil patches in the U.S. Excess gas is burned off at oil pumping stations which dot the countryside. A Greenpeace photo.

Several studies have examined the association between unconventional oil and gas development and adverse birth outcomes. But up to now, no study is known to have looked specifically at flaring—the controlled burning of natural gas at the well site to relieve pressure or dispose of waste gas.1 In a recent article in Environmental Health Perspectives, investigators report their findings on flaring and maternal and fetal outcomes. Details here.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

British chicken driving deforestation in Brazil’s “second Amazon”


This satellite shot shows soybean production in Cerrato, Brazil. Green represents
areas cleared before 2001 and purple - between 2007-2013. NASA.

Soya used to feed UK livestock linked to industrial-scale destruction of vital tropical woodland. Story here.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Brazilian meat giant trucked cattle from deforested Amazon ranch

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
An Adobe photo.

This article exposes the brazen culpability of the global beef industry for the fires ravaging the Amazon each year. Please open this "must-read' story here!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Some Canadian hog producers are euthanizing their own pigs because Covid-19 has rendered them almost worthless. Is it happening in Manitoba, too?

by Larry Powell
These carcasses were spotted on a side road not far
from the Decker Hutterite Colony.

According to the farm newspaper, the Western Producer, some Canadian producers are killing their own hog stocks and disposing of them, without putting them on the market.  Many meat-plant workers have been infected with Covid-19 and several packing plants in Canada and the U.S. have closed, as a result. Packers are therefore not accepting as many hogs as before and supplies are backing up throughout the production chain.Piglets normally raised in Canada and sold to finishing operations in the 'States are said to be worthless.
Photos by PinP.
News reports suggest, only animals in eastern Canada are known to have been euthanized, so far. 

However, I spotted and photographed two large dumpsters filled with the carcasses of mature hogs two days ago (see above). They were near the Decker Hutterite Colony in southwestern Manitoba, site of a major hog producing operation. However, it isn't known if the animals were euthanized because of Covid-19, or died of other causes. My calls to the colony have gone unanswered. 
This sign is now posted at the entrance to the
Decker colony. Photos by PinP.
Janine Gibson of HogWatch Manitoba, tells PinP, it's most likely the animals died "from the unnatural confinement and its inappropriate density. Also pick-up for disposal may be behind, so the carcass numbers are higher. I do sadly believe, some may choose to euthanize rather than continue to lose money feeding hogs they cannot sell." 

HogWatch is a citizens' group which keeps a critical eye on the industry in the province.

The Chair of the Canadian Pork Council, Rick Bergmann told a news conference, producers are losing hundreds of millions of dollars because of the Covid crisis. Calling federal assistance to business, "totally inadequate," the industry is asking Ottawa for an immediate cash payment of $20 per hog. 

Please also read:

"In Hogs We Trust" Part 11  
a critique of Manitoba's runaway pork industry.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Global financial giants swear off funding an especially dirty fuel.

The New York Times
The Alberta tar sands. Source: "Beautiful Destruction."

Some of the world's biggest financial institutions have stopped putting money behind oil production in the Canadian province of Alberta, home to one of the world's most extensive and dirtiest, oil reserves.  Story here. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Peace River Frack-Up

PolicyNote (CCPA - the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)
Part 1 of a report on how fracking poses risks to BC Hydro’s Peace River dams,
British Columbia, Canada. Story here.
The site c dam, BC in an early stage of construction - 2016.
Photo by Jeffrey Wynne 

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Lethal algae blooms – an ecosystem out of balance

The Guardian
Toxic formations across the US and the Baltic are part of a worrying trend linked to the climate crisis and farming methods Story here.
Lk. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, with Reindeer Is. in the lower right.
Photo credit - European Space Agency.

Mekong Turns from Brown to Blue-Green

In late 2019, the river started to turn colours due 
to a reduced sediment load and algae blooms.
NASA Earth Observatory.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Downstream of Alberta's tar sands, death by cancer comes too often

Canada's National Observer
Ft. Chipewyan from the air. Photo by Mark S. Elliott.
It’s been more than a dozen years since the metaphorical alarm was first sounded, and yet the residents of Fort Chipewyan still don’t know what’s killing them. Story here.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Juul spreads over the world as home market collapses in scandal

E-cigarettes. Photo by Ecig Click
The embattled American vape company Juul is pushing foreign governments to ditch strict e-cigarette regulations as it aggressively expands across the globe in an attempt to offset lost profits in the US. Story here.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Industrial fishing behind plummeting shark numbers

Science News
Research finds marine predators are significantly smaller and much rarer in areas closer to people. Story here.
An ocean "white-tip" shark. Photo by NOAA.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Cargill Closes Feed Mills in China Due to African Swine Fever

Cargill Inc has closed animal feed-mills in China in recent months, partly because of the devastating spread of African swine fever (ASF) that has reduced demand. Story here.
One of millions of ASF victims.

"The incidence and range of many emerging diseases are influenced by the intensification of..livestock systems."  U.N. report - "Agriculture at a Crossroads" 2009

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The research is in - stop fracking ASAP!

Over 1,500 reports show there’s simply no safe way to do it — and it’s harming us all every day it goes on. Story here.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

It’s feared that a disease deadly to hogs, “PEDv,” will return to the rampant stage it reached in Manitoba in 2017.

"Manitoba Pork" reports 50 cases in the province already this year, and calls for stepped up efforts to combat it. Story here.
Piglets with PEDv develop severe diarrhea and vomiting.
Almost all die within a few days of birth.
A Manitoba Pork photo.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Manitoba's "Protein Advantage"

A few months ago, the Government of Manitoba invited input from the public on a proposal to expand production of protein-rich food, whether plant or animal-based, in this province. It claims, meeting this fast-growing global demand offers much bigger opportunities than those which have existed before, for both farmers and investors. The province has embarked on a massive expansion of its industrial pork industry by relaxing both health and environmental regulations and obviously hopes through this new initiative,  to make it even bigger.

In this in-depth article, long-time farm activist and livestock producer, Ruth Pryzer, offers many valuable insights into why this all needs to be taken with several grains of salt.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Rising global shipping traffic could lead to surge in invasive species

Science Daily

Ship traffic in the Suez Canal - 1957. Photo by Buonasera
Maritime trade is likely to far outweigh climate change as the driver of bio-invasions over the next 30 years, study finds.

Diesel vehicles in oil sands operations contribute to regional pollution

EurekAlert Wildfires, cigarette smoking and vehicles all emit a potentially harmful compound called isocyanic acid. The substance has been l...