Citizens call for moratorium on factory farm hog production in Saskatchewan
April 16, 2004
REGINA - Free range piglets, Penelope the sow, and members of communities affected by intensive hog operations are in front of the Legislature today calling for a moratorium on the expansion of factory farm hog production in Saskatchewan.
The Saskatchewan Beyond Factory Farming Coalition will be one of many groups across the country to tell provincial and federal agriculture ministers that Canadians want “Family Farms NOT Factory Farms!” in a national day of action.
The group is demanding a moratorium until the environmental, health, economic, and social implications of intensive livestock operations are adequately addressed.
Ken Sigurdson, a ratepayer from the RM of Livingston where Big Sky Farms has proposed a 120,000 hog operation notes, ”Hog production was supposed to be about helping farm families through diversification. Instead, these government-supported hog factories have taken hogs away from the family farms. It’s not a leg up, it’s a kick in the head! We feel worse than abandoned, — we’re under siege.”
The group wants Saskatchewan’s agriculture policy to promote environmentally friendly family farm livestock alternatives such as straw-based, dry composted manure systems.
Sandy Schorr of Moosomin, founder of the Free Range Independent Pork Producers of Saskatchewan (FRIPPS), and a leader in the local fight to stop a hog mega barn proposal in her community says “My pigs are happy, they don’t stink and they do just fine outdoors and on straw. More and more people are asking for free range pork. It’s the way of the future.”
The destructive impacts of industrial farming practices are not just restricted to hog farming. Bird Flu is devastating chicken producers in BC. Mad Cow is impoverishing Canada’s cattle farmers. ”Get big or get out ” agriculture policies are producing crises and hardship and threatening the long-term viability of Canada’s food production system.
An Ipsos-Reid Poll released today shows that 189% 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: Ken Sigurdson, RM of Livingston Ratepayers, — (204) 734-3644 Sandy Schorr, Free Range Independent Pork Producers of Saskatchewan - (306) 435-3737 Cathy Holtslander, Council of Canadians Factory Farming Campaigner - (306) 955-6454 or (306) 229-4075 (cell)
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.