Quebec is the country’s largest pork producer accounting for 30 per cent of the total pork produced. This translates to over 3000 hog operations spread throughout the province with an average operation housing 420 “animal units” (upwards of 2000-2500 head).

Zoom in on map to view intensive livestock operations in Quebec.

These very large livestock operations are a major cause for concern among residents and community groups who hold the industrialization of hog farming responsible for major environmental and societal damage. Several watersheds throughout the province have been contaminated from excess hog manure leaching into ground water and running off into surface waters.

Nearly 100 per cent of hogs produced in Quebec are processed at one of the 162 plants located throughout the province.

Recently the largest pork processing company in the province, Olymel, shut down several plants in Quebec and moved its primary hog slaughter operation to Red Deer, Alberta.

In the fall of 2003, following a public consultation process, the Quebec government released a report recommending fundamental changes in hog production that would improve the industry's sustainability. The province then imposed a moratorium on hog production expansion until new regulations and policies could be implemented. The moratorium was lifted prematurely in December 2004. Since then grassroots community groups have lobbied the province to adopt the Canadian Medical Association’s resolution 02-69 to ban expansion of the hog industry until the inherent risks of industrial hog farming are understood and the appropriate solutions implemented.