Thu, 13 April 2006
Pork is literally being produced behind closed doors. For those of us living in cities, all that can be witnessed is that final product of vacuum-packed bacon or tightly-sealed marshmallows. For those living in the rural areas, the story is much different. Communities are faced with the odour that emanates from massive hog factories; they are subject to the tonnes of liquid manure that ends up in nearby lagoons and is sprayed on neighbouring fields; and many are concerned about the cleanliness of their water sources and air. A large percentage of antibiotics produced in this country end up in the bellies of farm animals; where do the antibiotics go, and what implications does this incredible use of drugs have on human and animal health? Much concern has also been raised as to the well-being of sows (breeder pigs) that spend almost their entire lives in stalls almost no larger than themselves.
Join Deconstructing Dinner as we take a closer look into industrial hog production and discover whether viable alternatives exist.
Shiv Chopra - was the Senior Veterinary Drug Evaluator in Health Canada's Therapeutic Products and Food Division. Chopra was fired in 2004 along with 2 other colleagues after serving 28 years with the department. Chopra had raised issues such as the safety of a bovine growth hormone proposed for use in dairy herds to boost milk production, the influence of corporations in government drug approvals, and the need to keep animal parts out of the feed supply to keep animals safe.
Vicki Burns - Executive Director, Winnipeg Humane Society - The WHS coordinates the Quit Stalling Campaign - designed to end the use of sow stalls in Canada by 2013. Sows are breeder pigs, which, in hog factories, are kept in metal stalls barely larger than themselves.
Elaine Hughes - Stop the Hogs Coalition - is a group of concerned ratepayers of the Regional Municipalities of Barrier Valley and Ponass Lake, Saskatchewan, that are concerned about the environmental and social implications of the 'factory' production of hogs. Elaine is on the Steering Committee of the Beyond Factory Farming Coalition.
Barbara Schellenberg - Rafter 25 Ranch - Located on the ranch in Alexis Creek, BC is Pasture-to-Plate - raising pork, beef and lamb using biodynamic principles of farming. These principles ensure a mutual respect with the land, and the farm undertakes a number of conservation projects. Animals are allowed to practice instinctive practices with little restriction.