Hog farmers care for their animals 365 days a year, including holidays! Maintaining pig health is a farmer’s pride and passion. After all, raising pigs is not just a job; it’s a way of life. Producing pork that is among the highest quality in the world requires a great deal of care.
Farmers follow several standards of care related to the handling, feeding, housing, and transportation of pigs. This quality of care is essential to pigs’ health and wellbeing. Without a healthy pig, a farmer has nothing. These standards include the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs, the Animal Care Act, and the Health of Animals Regulations. The 105 Code of Practice requirements and all the other regulations provide comprehensive standards that support optimal on-farm care. “In addition to what we do every day in our barns, veterinarians frequently visit our barns to check the health of our herd and ensure these standards are met,” says Rick Préjet, Manitoba hog farmer. Animals are further protected by provincial and federal law.
Diets of pigs are carefully formulated to meet their nutritional needs. Farmers feed pigs a grain-based diet consisting mainly of farm grains. Crops such as barley, wheat, and corn provide pigs with energy, while soybeans and canola meal supply protein. Added vitamins and minerals increase the nutritional value for the pigs. Pigs also rely on clean, freshwater as an essential part of their diet. Canadian farmers never give growth hormones to the pigs; in fact, it’s illegal in Canada.
The Manitoba hog sector places a high priority on ensuring that local hog farmers have access to the best possible information for their swine herds. Since 1999, Manitoba hog farmers have invested over $10 million on third-party, independent, swine-related research. Hog farmers are committed to continuous improvement, through modifying their operations, replacing older barns and equipment, and adopting new technologies like computerized feeding systems that ensure each and every pig gets the nutrients it needs.
“The care that hog farmers across our province take in raising pigs is evident by the global demand for Manitoba pork, and I am very proud to be part of this industry,” Préjet added. Everyone involved in raising and transporting pigs has a role to play in ensuring that national standards are followed. Manitobans can be proud of the pork that is produced right here at home as it feeds not only us, but people all around the world.
To learn more, visit manitobapork.com/animalcare