OTTAWA, Jan. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's 11,000 hog farmers are deeply
disappointed Prime Minister Stephen Harper, meeting tomorrow with Provincial
Premiers, is still not prepared to provide the desperately needed help to keep
the country's historic hog industry alive.
"Hog producers are losing their farms across our great country, not
because of their management ability, but because of a chain of events beyond
their control, the dollar, the low in the hog cycle, and the huge run-up in
feed prices," said Clare Schlegel, a 5th generation Ontario hog farmer and
President of the Canadian Pork Council.
Mr. Harper announced plans today to help communities and workers in other
parts of Canada's traditional industries including forestry and manufacturing
but the Federal Government has not yet signaled it is prepared to help one of
its first industries - livestock production.
The Canadian hog industry is among the most modern in the world and
exports two out of every three hogs produced in Canada. The industry can
compete well even with the ups and downs typical to this industry. But the
combination of the high Canadian dollar and soaring feed costs has translated
into huge losses for every Canadian farmer.
Mr. Schlegel said hog farmers from coast-to-coast need immediate help
through loans - not grants or hand-outs - to survive these coming months.
"The value-added livestock industry is needed in Canada," said
Mr. Schlegel. "We call on our government for increased support, as has already
happened in other competing countries." Each day the government delays
increases the likelihood of a Canadian hog farmer being forced out of business
because of the crushing costs.
"Canada must not let this industry disappear," said Mr. Schlegel.
The Canadian Pork Council represents Canada's 11,000 hog producers in
nine provinces. The industry raises 31 million hogs a year, employs more than
42,000 people and generates $7.7 billion a year in economic activity.
For further information:
For further information: Media Contacts: Clare Schlegel, President,
(519) 580-6761, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jurgen Preugschas, 1st Vice-President,
(780) 204-2500, email@example.com; Catherine Scovil, Executive Associate,
(613) 236-9239 x.235, firstname.lastname@example.org