Veg*nuary

**no animals were harmed in the making of this blog**

Factory Pig Farming

on January 1, 2013

http://www.cbc.ca/archives/categories/economy-business/agriculture/hog-wild-canadas-pork-industry/family-farms-vs-factory-farms.html

From wikipedia:
The pigs are housed together in their thousands in identical barns with metal roofs, known as CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations).[16] The floors of the buildings are slatted, allowing waste to be flushed into 30-feet-deep open-air pits the size of two football fields, referred to within the industry as lagoons.[17] The area around one slaughterhouse can contain hundreds of these lagoons.[5] Smithfield says the lagoons contain an impervious liner made to withstand leakage.[17] According to Jeff Tietz writing for Rolling Stone magazine, the waste – a mixture of excrement, urine, blood, afterbirths, stillborn pigs, drugs and other chemicals – overflows when it rains and that the liners can be punctured by rocks.[5] Smithfield attributes the pink color of the waste to the health of the lagoons, writing that the color is “a sign of bacteria doing what it should be doing. It’s indicative of lower odor and lower nutrient content.”[18]

The above quote is referring to pig farming in America. It’s hard imagine something like this exist. Surely it is not the case in Canada. Right?

From CBC:
From back bacon to smoked ham, Canada exports over $2 billion of pork, making us one of the world’s top exporters. But what’s good for the economy hasn’t been good to the environment. The problem is manure. Canada’s 15 million pigs produce enough waste to fill Toronto’s SkyDome every 22 days.
Efficient and profitable, huge hog barns are being championed as the future of pig farming. As seen in this Country Canada report, one swine operation can churn out as many as 15,000 pigs a year. Such large-scale operations have doubled pig production in the last decade in Manitoba, giving the province a much-needed shot in the arm. Unfortunately there’s a down side: manure and lots of it.

Hog barns store gallons of liquid manure in untreated, open-air lagoons, some as big as a football field, holding up to a year’s supply of waste. Pointing to the unsightly manure pits, small farmers say bigger isn’t better. They say massive barns pose a threat to the environment. They are concerned about leaks, which could contaminate their water source. There needs to be some protection, one farmer tells the CBC. It is not normal farming, he explains. It is an industry.

FACTS
. Statistics show fewer farms are raising more pigs in Canada.
– In 1981, 55,765 farms raised around 9.9 million pigs.
– By 2001, the number of farms fell to 15,472 but the number of pigs raised increased to nearly 14 million.
– In 1981, the average number of pigs raised on a farm was 177. In 2001, that number increased to 902. (Statistics Canada)

. One hog produces three to five times as much waste as one human.
. Pigs outnumber people in Manitoba. The population of Manitoba is around 1.2 million while the population of pigs is around 2.9 million (Statistics Canada 2004).
. In 1981, Manitoba raised 870,000 pigs. By 2003, that number jumped to over 2.9 million pigs.

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