Future hog industry expansion in Manitoba should be based on science instead of politics, said the mayor of the province’s second largest city.
As the result of regulations imposed by the provincial government in 2011 aimed at improving the water quality of Lake Winnipeg, including a moratorium on new hog barn construction, the number of hogs produced in Manitoba has fallen steadily, impacting the ability of the province's pork processors to access the volumes of hogs needed to maintain capacity.
Rick Crest, the recently elected mayor of Brandon, Manitoba, said since his election he has discussed the situation with representatives of Manitoba Pork Council and plans to meet with representatives of the pork industry and the provincial government. Crest said he believes everyone needs to work together to work out a solution.
“My view is these things should probably be less about politics, if you will, and more about science,” said Crest. “I would certainly be more in favor of turning the matter over to the recommendations of the scientists if you want to call them that to figure out, here are the numbers that we need to meet with respect to either effluent or manure disposal, any of the side effects if you want to call it that and let's then puzzle out between those big brains the best way to achieve that. If we can meet the science then I don't see a reason why it can't proceed and take some of the emotion and politics out of it.”
Crest said he would be willing to be involved in any discussions and any efforts that may be needed to help the process.