Air and water pollution evidence mounts against factory hog operation
April 16, 2004
FREDERICTON, MONCTON - New Brunswick citizens are out in front of the Legislature in Fredericton and in Moncton today, taking their message to the public and the government: Family Farms NOT Factory Farms.
Today, Canadians across the country are expressing their opposition to factory farming in a national day of action. The Metz hog factory in Sainte-Marie-de-Kent is the focus of concern in New Brunswick.
Neil Gardner, a resident of Saint-Marie-de-Kent and supporter of the Association for the Preservation of the Bouctouche Watershed, knows all about the impact of intensive livestock operations. He lives just a kilometre from a hog factory producing over 30,000 hogs a year.
When he and the Association complained about the impact the hog factory was having on their health and the environment, the Premier of New Brunswick ordered an Expert Committee to study their complaints. The Expert Committee, in turn, hired a consulting firm from Toronto to look at the odours from the hog factory on the surrounding community.
“The consultants confirmed what we already knew; that odour levels as far as 9 km away from the hog operation were high. The consultants also pointed out what we didn’t know: the odour levels were well above the guidelines established in other jurisdictions, and in some cases 20 to 60 times higher. New Brunswick has no criteria for regulating odour levels,” says Gardner.
According to Inka Milewski, Science Advisor for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, the scientific evidence is stacking up against intensive livestock operations (ILOs). “In jurisdictions where these operations have been studied, large quantities of nutrients are discharged into watersheds resulting in severe degradation of freshwaster and marine ecosystems.”
“The problem I see is that the scientific evidence is way ahead of the regulations and policies we have in place to protect human and environmental health. For example nutrients, which are a class of contaminants, are not even regulated in Canada. In New Brunswick, ILOs are not subject to full environmental impact assessments.”
1An Ipsos-Reid Poll released today shows that 89% of Canadians want provincial and federal government support to go to family farms with environmentally-friendly livestock production systems and not large corporate farms. Today, the Beyond Factory Farming Coalition, made up of national, provincial and local organizations that represent thousands of Canadians, is calling upon governments to do just that.
For more information contact: Jerry Cook, Association for the Preservation of the Bouctouche Watershed, (506) 523-2701 Inka Milewski, Science Advisor for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, (506) 622-2460
1These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid/Council of Canadians poll conducted from March 30th to April 1st 2004. For the telephone survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1000 adult Canadians was interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ¬± 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample’s regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data. Please visit www.ipsos-reid.com to view the survey findings.