By Vanessa Culbert
Manitoba Pork chairman says they'll still have some of the toughest regulations in North America.
The province is planning to ease some of its environmental requirements for new hog barn construction, but Manitoba Pork chairman George Matheson says the province will still have some of the toughest regulations in North America.
The Tory government has stated that it will make amendments to the Environment Act, no longer requiring the use of anaerobic digesters.
With new regulations on the way, Matheson was asked what he would like to see in terms of new hog barn expansion.
He says a three to four per cent increase in production every year would allow the industry to grow at a responsible rate.
Fire has heavily damaged a dairy operation in Kamloops, B-C, that processes milk from farmers across the North Thompson and Shuswap Okanagan.
Fire officials say the main production facility at Blackwell Dairy was destroyed in the late-night blaze.
Kamloops Fire and Rescue Captain Jeff Bell says crews were met by towering flames, heavy smoke and small explosions of gas tanks or tires as they arrived at the facility in Barnhartvale on Kamloops' east side.
No one was injured and no livestock were lost. A cause of the fire has not been determined and Bell says an investigation is continuing.
A veterinarian who helped deal with the P-E-D virus outbreak in Ontario in 2014 says that even with all the biosecurity procedures in place, it can still be difficult to keep the virus out.
Sue Burlatschenko says any little mistake can result in the entrance of the virus into the barn.
Burlatschenko reminds Manitoba producers that P-E-D ``is not forever'', and there are much worse diseases to deal with such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome which can a have a much greater economic impact.
P-E-D causes severe dehydration and diarrhea in pigs and is generally fatal in very young animals, however older animals can recover.
Manitoba Pork has defended the environmental record of hog farmers in full-page ads in the Winnipeg Free Press and Brandon Sun.
Chair George Matheson says in the ads, which appeared Saturday, that none of the recent government amendments to streamline legislation and regulations for livestock lower environmental standards.
The Manitoba government announced in March it is ending a decade-old moratorium on hog barn expansion, but the Opposition N-D-P says increased hog production could mean more effluent harming Lake Winnipeg and other waterways.
Matheson says Manitoba farmers will still follow the strictest environmental regulations in North America.