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Northwestern Ont. Packer Honoured

An abattoir in Ontario’s Lake of the Woods region has been named to receive one of that province’s Premier’s Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence.

The Rainy River District Regional Abattoir at Emo, Ont., about 150 km east of Sprague, Man., is one of 55 regional award winners named this year, each receiving a $5,000 prize.

The province on June 24 credited the work of “a group of forward-thinking farmers from this area” in setting up the $2 million non-profit operation, which launched in January.

The abattoir can process beef, pork, sheep, elk and bison, eliminating the need for livestock to be transported up to six hours away for processing, the province said, noting the Emo plant “can be easily upgraded in the future to a federal facility, which will enable broader product sales as demand increases.”

Local farmers see the organizers’ approach as “a boon for agricultural sustainability in the region,” the province said.

Foot And Mouth Disease Scare

Testing by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has ruled out reportable diseases, including foot-and-mouth, in some Canadian hogs that inspectors flagged this week at a slaughter plant.

The agency has lifted all movement restrictions and Olymel LP’s hog plant in Red Deer, Alberta, has reopened, the agency said in a news release on its website.

Initial tests on some of the roughly 200 Canadian hogs delivered to the plant June 21 had also ruled out any reportable disease, but CFIA had been analyzing the initial results.

The hogs arrived at the plant with lesions, creating suspicion about disease, privately held Olymel said in a release June 23. It said CFIA has authorized distribution of meat products from the plant.

FMD is a highly contagious disease hitting cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. It rarely affects humans.

The pork plant is one of the largest in Canada, killing and processing 45,000 hogs per week.

“We’ll be working very hard for the next few days to bring everything back to normal,” said company spokesman Richard Vigneault.

Canada is the world’s third-largest pork exporter and supplies three per cent of the U. S. pork supply.

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