In a press release, the Canadian Pork Council (CPC) has stated that Canada’s 11,000 hog farmers are deeply disappointed that Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is meeting today with Provincial Premiers, is still not prepared to provide what they perceive as the desperately needed help to keep the country’s historic hog industry alive.
“Hog producers are losing their farms across our country, not because of their management ability, but because of a chain of events beyond their control, the dollar, the low in the hog cycle, and the huge run-up in feed prices,” said Clare Schlegel, President of the CPC.
Harper announced plans yesterday to help communities and workers in other parts of Canada’s traditional industries including forestry and manufacturing but the Federal Government has not yet signalled it is prepared to help livestock production.
The Canadian hog industry exports two out of every three hogs produced in the country. The combination of the high Canadian dollar and soaring feed costs has translated into huge losses for Canadian farmers.
Schlegel said that hog farmers from coast-to-coast need immediate help through loans – not grants or hand-outs – to survive these coming months.
“The value-added livestock industry is needed in Canada,” said Schlegel. “We call on our government for increased support, as has already happened in other competing countries.” Each day the government delays increases the likelihood of a Canadian hog farmer being forced out of business because of the crushing costs.
The Canadian Pork Council represents Canada’s 11,000 hog producers in nine provinces. It has recently been in the news on numerous occasions calling for government assistance to aid pig farmers.