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Cattle Producers Express Concern Over Manitoba Pause on Hog Industry Expansion

by 5m Editor
9 January 2007, at 12:08pm

CANADA - The head of the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association has joined other agricultural and municipal leaders in expressing concern over the Manitoba government's decision to place a pause on hog industry expansion, writes Bruce Cochrane.

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Last month the Manitoba government placed a temporary freeze on hog barn construction while the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission reviews new provincial environmental legislation and examines the environmental sustainability of the hog industry.

Manitoba Cattle Producers Association President Martin Unrau warns the decision creates an unfriendly investment climate for the province's livestock industry and will definitely dictate where investors put their money.

Martin Unrau -Manitoba Cattle Producers Association
All of agriculture is tied together.

You look at the ethanol plants that are coming on board or proposed to be coming on board, the byproducts will have to be used up and the closer to the plants it can be used up the more economic it will be and what need to use those up is livestock to use up those byproducts.

Everything spins off everything else in the ag industry and you need that positive climate around the ag industry to make people stay in it or even expand in it.

We see that as being an issue, the environmental issue, they're definitely an issue.

We've worked really hard to make sure that our operations are environmentally friendly and that we protect our environment and we see there being an extreme importance on using science for any regulations that are brought into place.

We can't put regulations in on emotions alone and we have to keep a close eye on things to make sure that all regulations are science based and not just driven by emotion.

Unrau notes, while cattle producers are not currently directly affected by the pause in hog industry development, there is concern the action could eventually be expanded to include the cattle industry.

He says if there's any chance of expanding the cattle industry, we have to have that positive climate in order to attract investment money.

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5m Editor