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In Brief… – for May. 6, 2010

Safety lapse: Four children were injured April 28 after they were thrown from an ATV they were riding on a public road in the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie. The 13-year-old male driver and two of his passengers, aged one and two, were taken to Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre. A 10-year-old female passenger was treated and released from the Ste. Anne Hospital. None of the victims were wearing helmets. Helmets are mandatory under the Off-Road Vehicle Act; it is also illegal to operate off-road vehicles on public roadways. Burning issue: A southern Manitoba man has been charged under the Manitoba Wildfires Act after the grass fire he started got away from him and destroyed a bridge in the Rural Municipality of Roland. Fire crews were unable to prevent the blaze from destroying the North Shannon Creek bridge near Highway 23 east of Roland. Due to the recent rains, the province has since lifted restrictions banning burning throughout much of the province. However, burning permits are required between April 1 and Nov. 15.

Slaughter improvement:

The federal Slaughter Improvement Program is lending Winkler Meats Ltd. $310,000 to expand its federally inspected slaughter service for hogs, bison, elk, and wild boars. Established in 1964, Winkler Meats Ltd. is a federally inspected abattoir and processing plant that employs over 40 people. The federal funds will be used to improve its operations through equipment upgrades and the expansion of its plant facilities, including two new smokehouses and upgraded production line equipment.

Volunteers needed: Ag in the Classroom is looking for volunteers to help host the Best in the West Amazing Agriculture Adventure in Brandon June 8 and 9.

Volunteers are needed in two areas: guiding Grade 4 and 5 students and their teachers from station to station and hosting stations covering everything from bees to balers. Volunteers receive training, refreshments and the satisfaction of knowing they’ve contributed to furthering students’ knowledge about agriculture. For more information or to sign up, call 204-471-9698 or email [email protected] aitc. mb.ca.Overhaul: EU farm subsidies must be used to maintain rural employment and combat market crises, rather than to artificially manage agricultural markets as in the past, the bloc’s farm chief says.

The EU plans to overhaul its common agricultural policy (CAP) from 2013, and there will be no return to the production and price control of previous decades, Romania’s Dacian Ciolos said. “Farmers must be guided by market reality, by supply and demand. We can’t artificially manage the natural evolution of the market, as in the past,” he said. – Reuters More food safety: U. S.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it is implementing additional beef safety measures to protect customers against foodborne illnesses.

The new program requires Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club beef suppliers to implement controls to reduce potential contamination levels, the world’s biggest retailer said.

The new measures will be phased in, starting in June 2011.

Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club will work with suppliers to ensure the measures are implemented without additional cost to customers, it said in a statement. Passing: Garry Fairbairn, a journalist best known for his stint as editor of one of Canada’s major farm newspapers, has died.

Fairbairn, the 62-year-old former editor of the Western Producer, suffered a fatal heart attack at home in Calgary, his family reported in an obituary May 1.

Fairbairn, the son of journalist and former Producer editor Clarence Fairbairn, became a published author upon winning a competition to write a history book marking the 60th anniversary of Saskatchewan Wheat Pool (now Viterra). Animal care: The federal government is investing $3.4 million in improved farm animal care practices through the Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC) and the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC). The investment will help develop a new code of practice for various farmed animal sectors and an on-farm assessment protocol.

“NFACC provides a vehicle for ensuring a national co-ordinated approach on farm animal care among all stakeholders across the entire value chain,” said Edouard Asnong, chair, NFACC.

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