August 29, 2021
Speaking of Opportunities…
In his article “Big Opportunities In Hogs” (Northeast
Sun, August 19, 2022), Mr. Red Williams encourages family farmers to
advantage of still more government money for packing and slaughterhouses
by feeding hogs on contract.
It’s unfortunate that he missed his own opportunity to support
the idea of raising hogs humanely and sustainably, for example: outdoors
where they belong, using pasture grazing with hoop houses. He has chosen,
instead, to suggest that farmers construct a finisher barn for 1000 hogs
which, with “an under-floor manure pit avoids the rigorous environmental
requirements for ILOs.”
There, while receiving growth
hormones and antibiotics to keep them alive long enough to get them
to the slaughterhouse, the animals will
be brought to market weight, forced their entire lives to breathe the
toxic fumes from the manure accumulating in the cesspools beneath their
feet. This is also extremely dangerous for barn workers, some of whom
have died after being exposed - for only seconds - to Hydrogen
Sulphide fumes in hog barns. Is this a good way to “get through
the tough years”?
And, is it really okay to
devise schemes to avoid the few inadequate environmental regulations
we do have concerning the pig factories for “$10,000
to $15,000 per year” while cheating future generations out of a
clean environment with clean drinking water and clean soil?
Alternative methods of raising animals for food do exist which are safe,
viable, sustainable and humane, and do not threaten the health and environmental
rights of Saskatchewan residents, now or in the future.
Amazingly, both the government, its agencies and the hog industry cannot
or will not understand that this under-the-radar scheme to expand pig
factories using smaller barns is no more a long-term solution to difficult
economic times than the big ones are.
They just don’t ‘get it’!