Showing posts with label Hogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hogs. Show all posts

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Are some Manitoba media stifling dissent on the hog barn issue? One activist speaks out.

John Fefchak of Virden (L.) has been a critic of the hog industry for years. An Air Force veteran now in his eighties, he writes many letters to the editor. They're often in a losing cause, and often at odds with the "pro-hog" editorial stance of many mainstream media. But neither circumstance nor time have deterred him. His letters drive home the wrong-headedness of politicians who "cheerlead" for an industry with so many downsides, including a propensity to pollute our precious waterways. Below is John's latest letter, telling of his experiences with the Sun, a daily newspaper in Brandon, Manitoba.  (PinP)

Is The Brandon Sun Newspaper Applying a Double Standard?

On Nov. 14th, 2017, the Sun published yet another story about yet another hog producer complaining of being "hard done by." This after the Pallister government had already passed legislation recklessly slashing health and environmental protections, in order to pave the way for even more mega-barns. Still, the producer wasn't happy. He thought that legislation, which surely guarantees more pollution, more cruelty to animals and more disease among humans and animals alike, didn't go far enough. That's because a local council had the nerve to exercise some autonomy and turn down his own bid for a new barn.

But when I wrote a letter-to-the-editor to express these concerns, the editor informed me, it would not be published!

"It's not that we're not interested," he wrote. "But we are receiving far too many letters on one single issue to run. At some point, it becomes too much. I would really appreciate letters on other topics."

And that made me wonder, "Isn't that what Newspapers do...share the voice of the people?"

Personally, I have been writing letters to the Sun for nearly two decades. And editors I've dealt with up 'til now have always encouraged me to "keep writing." I believe my letters cover important issues like, animal stewardship, health, water, environment and future generations. 

Limiting letters from people like myself, while faithfully covering every burp and squeal from the pork industry, smacks of a double standard to me. Surely if their argument is, they're getting too many letters on one topic,...what about too much coverage from the Industry side?

After all, the Sun does advertise that it welcomes letters. Now, it seems to be saying something quite different...that freedom of expression just may be curtailed. 

And that's too bad.

John Fefchak,
Virden, MB

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Concerned with the way hogs are produced in Manitoba? Then, this is for you!

Please check out this brand new website from Hog Watch Manitoba to find out about the provincial governments disturbing plans for hog industry expansion and why you should care!

Friday, 22 September 2017

Group calls for the government of Manitoba not to ease hog rules

The Winnipeg SUN

A group that fears relaxed hog rules will heighten water pollution has united to fight against the proposed changes. Story here.

Monday, 31 July 2017

A New and More Virulent Hog Infection Invades Manitoba

Dr. Blaine Tully - Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians
Farmscape for July 28, 2017

The President of the Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians says swine veterinarian in Manitoba have stepped up their focus on addressing a new more virulent strain of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome.

A new more virulent strain of PRRS, a viral infection that affects pigs of all ages and stages of growth, has been identified in Manitoba.
Dr. Blaine Tully, the President of the Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians and a partner with Swine Health Professionals in Steinbach, says genetic sequencing to determine whether it's related to strains experienced in Manitoba or other parts of the country have shown that its kind of a lone wolf.

Clip-Dr. Blaine Tully-Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians:
We have about 12 or 15 farms, the majority of which are in southeast Manitoba but we do know there's farms in the Interlake and out into central Manitoba that have been infected.

At this point the swine veterinary community has joined together and is somewhat dovetailing in with our PED response and we're looking at doing a lot more epidemiological evaluation of farms that are infected with this new strain of PRRS, where they're located, how related the new strains are, because once PRRS infects a pig and starts replicating the nature of the virus is to mutate slightly each replication and so we get variations within strain families.

So we're looking at relatedness of viruses by sites and trying to map out potential transmission routes or events.

Dr. Tully says pork producers and the veterinary community have been in a heightened biosecurity awareness mode for many months due to PED and fortunately all of the safeguards being put in place to protect farms from PED apply to reducing the risk of introducing PRRS.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork

RELATED: "Mystery hog disease to become common on Prairies: vet"

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Changes for Manitoba's hog industry would lower standards (LETTER)

(Brandon Sun,13 June)
It's a funny thing how industries that are in trouble invariably take out full-page ads in the newspapers to proclaim their virtue in search of public approval. Such is the case with Saturday's ad by the Manitoba Pork Council featuring chairman George Mathison.

Chairman Mathison, referring to the "red tape reductions" proposed by the province, emphatically proclaims that "None of the proposed changes will lower environmental standards." Come now, George - that really is a bit of a stretch.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Hog Watch Manitoba (HWM) Calls for Safer Barns After Thousands of Animals Die in Another Fire.

WINNIPEG: HWM, a citizens’ group which monitors the industry in the province, calls the blaze “horrific.” Three thousand, five hundred pigs perished when two barns burned to the ground near New Bothwell last week.

It’s just the latest in a series of similar incidents in the province that have left thousands more hogs dead over the past decade. The barns are not equipped with the same fire walls or alarm/sprinkler systems that most other buildings must have.

And HWM fears that plans by the Pallister government to remove what it calls “impractical and costly” fire prevention regulations in barn construction, will only make a bad situation even worse.How can these changes make the situation better?

 “Although the thousands of pigs that have died in barn fires are not someone’s pet, they are all sentient beings that have the capacity to suffer fear and pain” says Vicki Burns of HWM. “If there were horrific fires like this in animal shelters like humane societies, the public would not tolerate it.  We should not be tolerating this for any animal housing, whether they are cats and dogs or animals raised for agricultural production. The degree of pain experienced in a fatal fire will be excruciating for any animals”.

Janine Gibson, an organic inspector and member of HWM, says “ These barn fires do not need to happen . We have the means to provide good fire prevention in our barns, just as we do in other buildings. Let’s make this happen to offer more humane circumstances for all animals."

HWM believes that hog producers need to receive enough remuneration that they can afford to build safe, healthy barns.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Data suggesting hog population explosion misleading, pork industry says

The Winnipeg Free Press
Manitoba's hog population rose by 18.7 per cent between 2011 and 2016, the highest increase in the country, according to Statistics Canada's agricultural census. Details here.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Hog Watch Reps Caution Government Ministers to Treat Industry Expansion With Caution - Lake Winnipeg Health at Risk

Hog Watch Manitoba
(Winnipeg May 17) - A citizens group which monitors the hog industry in Manitoba, has cautioned the provincial government, if it goes ahead with its apparent plans to expand production, not to repeat the mistakes of the past. In a recent meeting with three cabinet ministers, Hog Watch Manitoba  (HWM) reminded them how “technical review committees,” which used to “oversee” the construction of both hog barns and lagoons designed to hold the waste, overlooked errors in the planning. These errors were so serious, they eroded both the public’s trust of the industry and in government policies relating to it.

HWM is deeply concerned about the Consultation paper recently released about proposed changes to the Livestock Manure and Mortalities Management Regulation. Fred Tait, member of the HWM Steering Committee, says “We fear that if implemented, it will simply enhance the mistakes of the previous administration.”

HWM urges the government to implement the recommendations made by the Clean Environment Commission(CEC) in their 2007 report on Environmental Sustainability and Hog Production in Manitoba. “The CEC recommended reviews of the phosphorus application provisions in manure and further research into phosphorus in soils which has not been done” says Vicki Burns of HWM.  “Why are we using taxpayers’ money to fund the Clean Environment Commission if we’re not going to pay attention to their recommendations?” she asks. "The health of our lakes, including Lake Winnipeg, is at risk."

The cabinet ministers at the meeting were, The Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Sustainable Development and Minister of Indigenous and Municipal Affairs.

For further information contact:
Fred Tait – 204-252-2153
Janine Gibson – 204-434-6018
Vicki Burns - 204-489-3852 or

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Bill Would Set Manitoba's Animal Protections Back by a Decade

Huffington Post

There's a sick feeling of déjà vu for those of us in Manitoba these days. Here's why. Story here.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Province of Manitoba, Canada amending big pile of manure regulations

Winnipeg Free Press

The Pallister government plans to amend regulations governing the safe disposal of hog manure in Manitoba. It released a discussion paper Thursday, kicking off a 45-day public consultation period. Story here.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Review of pork industry wouldn't be hogwash

Winnipeg Free Press
In case you hadn’t noticed, the province has gone hog wild for changes to the pork industry. Story here.

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