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Hog Watch Manitoba, PO Box 61082, Grant Park, Wpg. Mb R3M 3X8

How you can help

Thank you for visiting Hog Watch Manitoba’s site. Hog Watch Manitoba believes that we can have a hog industry in Manitoba that is environmentally, ethically and economically sustainable. In order to do so we need to stop the use of intensive confinement systems for the animals and use housing systems for pigs that includes group housing for breeding sows and straw-based housing for all pigs. We are calling for the phase-out, over the next decade, of all liquid manure systems. 

Currently, the hog industry in Manitoba allows certain practices like the use of gestations stalls, no covers on manure lagoons, no air scrubbers on barn ventilation , that are outlawed in several other countries around the world. Why should we have looser regulations here that add to environmental threats, inhumane housing for the animals, antibiotic resistance concerns and toxic odour problems for neighbours? As well, Manitoba lakes – including the 10th largest lake in the world, Lake Winnipeg – have had increasing blue-green algae blooms since the 1990’s, around the same time that the hog industry exploded in Manitoba. Phosphorus and nitrogen in hog manure runoff from fields may well be a significant contributor to this problem along with human sewage and climate change.

 

3 actions you can take

 If you are interested in helping to move the hog industry away from the current industrial model please consider taking action on one or all of the following:

1. Copy and send the following letter (or use your own words) to these 3 important business leaders who dominate the hog industry in Manitoba: 

Michael McCain, CEO of Maple Leaf Foods michael.mccain@mapleleaf.com

Karan Sangfai, CEO of Hylife karan.sangfai@hylife.com

Cam Dahl, General Manager Manitoba Pork cdahl@manitobapork.com


 

Dear ,

We are contacting you to express our concern about the current hog industry practices that are inhumane for the animals, destructive to our waters, polluting the air both inside the barns and in neighbouring areas and economically unstable. We request you make immediate plans to revise your hog operations to include the following:

  • Eliminate the slatted floor liquid manure systems and switch to straw-based housing for the pigs. During the transition period cover 80% of the floor surface with rubber mats, leaving 20% for elimination areas
  • Eliminate the use of gestations stalls for the breeding sows and use group housing
  • Decrease the number of animals in each barn to 500 or less in all new barn developments

Thank you for your attention to these issues and we look forward to your response.

Signature – 


 

2. Consider making a financial contribution to Hog Watch Manitoba to assist in our work. Hog Watch Manitoba Inc is incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation but we do not have charitable status so are not able to give Charitable Tax receipts. Please consider contributing to our Go Fund Me campaign https://gofund.me/ab217c09 or mail a cheque to Hog Watch Manitoba, PO Box 61082 Grant Park, Winnipeg MB R3M 3X8.

3. Contact us at hogwatchmanitoba@gmail.com if you are interested in becoming involved with our cause. 

Every spring we buy weanling pigs.  We usually bring them home in a wooden crate and confine them to their room in the barn for the first week or two.  After that we open the door to the outside pen and they have the run of the place – which is about 16 feet square. Pigs are always digging and rooting in the ground looking for tasty morsels.  They probably turn the soil over in their pen at least once a week and the only area they avoid is where they defecate.  The self-feeder is located in one corner of the pen and they go to the far side to do their business.  Pigs are very particular that way.  We often throw vines and other vegetable matter into the pen and they will eat most of it and end up grinding the rest into the soil to make beautiful compost.  They are little composting machines and nothing is wasted that goes into the pen.  When it gets hot and the flies get bad, if we haven’t had rain for a few days, I’ll run the garden hose in the pen to make a mud wallow so they can cool off and cover themselves with mud as protection from the flies. Our pigs are an important part of our farming operation and they provide nutrient-rich manure to spread in the garden or on the fields. Sometimes however, this interest in excavation has led to some problems.

I remember one group of five we had that seemed to believe their purpose in life was to dig until you would think they were looking for water or, as was more likely the case, to get out of the pen.  The leader was cute as a button, a brown-coloured energetic pig with an extraordinarily long tail which he kept tightly curled at all times.  Naturally, we called him Curly and could he dig! Not only was Curly an excellent digger but he seemed to be able to motivate the other pigs to dig with him! I kept a close eye on this situation and noted with growing alarm that the holes were right at the edge of the enclosure! They