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Investing in the Ongoing Enhancement of Animal Care

May 24, 2023 7:00 AM | News

The following is a sponsored advertorial on behalf of Manitoba Pork.

Manitoba Pork

As hog farmers work to raise safe and nutritious pork, they also strive to provide the best possible care for their pigs, ensuring their animals remain healthy and comfortable year-round. Following 105 Code of Practice requirements and undergoing rigorous assessments through federally recognized quality assurance programs, those who work in the hog sector are committed to maintaining animal health and wellbeing at each stage of life including providing veterinarian and nutritionist attention.

“Right from a young age, I knew that I wanted to work with livestock,” says Andrea Elias, a barn manager from southern Manitoba. “I really love working with the animals and I am really proud of the work we do here. I believe we go the extra mile to make sure they’re comfortable and their wellbeing is maintained, and that is our main goal.”

New quality assurance programs PigCARE and PigSAFE set high standards, backed up by on-farm audits. These audits assess the completion of vital tasks including personnel training, barn maintenance and sanitation, the testing of feed and water supplies, transportation, and other key items. Audits include the ability to assess improvement orders to make necessary changes to operations.

“The hog sector has very high standards when it comes to the health and wellbeing of their pigs,” Andrea adds. “Transportation standards, living standards, health standards. All these things are very well documented, we’re always working to improve them, and they are always science-based.”
Manitoba Pork
Another key member of the animal care team in each barn are veterinarians like Dr. Melissa Desrochers, who is a vital part of HyLife’s Animal Care Team. Herd veterinarians visit barns to assess animal care standards, herd health and make care recommendations for individual pigs. Hog farmers work closely with their veterinarians to ensure animal wellbeing and health is maintained.

“Everyone involved in raising and transporting pigs is obliged to follow extensive national standards for care and handling,” Dr. Desrochers says. “Veterinarians like me play a key role in the health and well-being of pigs across Manitoba. We also use our expertise to support farmers and barn staff in ensuring that pigs are raised to only the highest standard of care.”

Today, over 95% of Canadian pigs are raised in open group pens, including about half the sows in Manitoba. Canada’s hog sector is making progress in working to house even more pigs in open housing thanks to new investments across the sector. Pigs raised indoors benefit from better-individualized care and improved health, and barns provide pigs with shelter and a healthy, comfortable environment in which to grow.

Those who raise pigs like Andrea Elias and those who help care for their health like Dr. Melissa Desrochers are vital not only to the long-term success of our sector but are also crucial in ensuring that pigs receive only the best possible care. While this care takes on many forms and is the responsibility of many people, Manitoba’s hog sector is guided by rigorous standards that ensure only safe and nutritious pork makes its way to your table.

To learn more, visit manitobapork.com/animalcare

Tags: Food | Manitoba