GFM Network News


A worker outside a seven-storey pig building of Guangxi Yangxiang’s farm at Yaji Mountain Forest Park in Guangxi province, China, March 21, 2018.

China’s multi-storey hog hotels elevate industrial farms to new levels

The structures are as high as 13 floors and save land costs but production experts worry about disease risk

On Yaji Mountain in southern China, they are checking in the sows 1,000 head per floor in high-rise “hog hotels.” Privately owned agricultural company Guangxi Yangxiang Co. Ltd. is running two seven-floor sow-breeding operations, and is putting up four more, including one with as many as 13 floors that will be the world’s tallest building

Hogs on a stock trailer bound for a Toronto packing plant accept drinks from Toronto Pig Save members in 2013. (Screengrab of Toronto Pig Save video via YouTube)

Pig trial a PR disaster for industry

It was never going to end well for animal agriculture. When a farmer called the police after a protester fed a pig on a truck some water at a stoplight, it started a process that has been absurd and head shaking. The process came to an end May 4 with the acquittal of Anita Frajnc,


Western Canadian locations like this Earls on Main Street in downtown Winnipeg, are already serving Canadian beef again through an Ontario-based supplier.

Earls mends fences after beef controversy

Restaurant chain will have all-Canadian beef this summer, after its U.S.-sourcing misstep

Phil Gallagher began his talk with an apology. Then he kept apologizing all the way through. “I’m a proud Canadian, just like all of you, and I learned a really hard lesson last year,” he said in concluding his address to the recent Manitoba Beef Producers annual meeting. “I hope to never make the same

Dr. Roy Lewis spoke at Ag Days about his observations of use of pain control measures while cautioning producers on overusage of antimicrobials.

Vet seeing widespread adoption of pain control measures

Observed benefits by producers, plus new products and influence of veterinarians all contributing to wide usage, says Ag Days speaker

Pain control is here to stay in the cattle industry — and not just because the beef codes of practice have brought these measures to the forefront, said an Ag Days speaker. Western Canadian ranchers are widely adopting the use of pain control measures for procedures such as castrations, dehorning and branding because they see

Layer hen rules fuelling scrutiny

The National Farm Animal Care Council is the focus of a recent freedom of information request

The organization leading Canada’s development of humane livestock production is under the activist microscope. The National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) was recently the focus of a request under the freedom of information legislation. The group says it suspects the move is related to its connection to guidelines for layer hens. The request relates to


Social licence requires animal welfare

Don’t expect cows to be sleeping at the foot of the bed any time soon, 
but farm animals are being extended new welfare consideration

It was an uncomfortable moment for producers at the annual Manitoba Dairy Conference, held in Winnipeg earlier this month. It was an image of downer cows, about to be shot at an American slaughter plant, displayed during a presentation by Jennifer Walker to bring home the message that just because something has become routine, doesn’t

Temple Grandin says the slaughter plants have been fixed. Now it’s time for the farm.

Fight the video cameras with video cameras: Temple Grandin

Famed animal welfare advocate says well-run operations can welcome public scrutiny

Fixing the slaughter plants was easy,” Temple Grandin told the 2015 annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). “But now I see problems that we are going to have to fix at the farm: lame dairy cows, emaciated dairy cows because somebody let them go too long, animal production to the point we

Reduced demand for fur in China has created a global market glut.

Mink ranchers get reprieve from depressed market

The federal government has extended the deadline for repaying cash advances

Canada’s financially beleaguered mink producers received a bit of good news last week when the federal government extended the deadline for repaying their 2013 cash advances. Producers now have until June 1, 2015 to repay their Advance Payment Program (APP) cash advances instead of September 30, 2014. The move provides some relief for producers who


British Columbia dairy farm confronts abuse allegations

The owners say they were unaware and are co-operating fully with an investigation

Allegations of animal abuse against eight employees of a B.C. dairy farm are under investigation by the provincial Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after videos showing scenes of alleged mistreatment were released by a Toronto-based vegan organization opposed to livestock production. Jeff Kooyman, co-owner of the Chilliwack Cattle Company, said it is co-operating

Dr. Tim Blackwell speaks to producers about their public image during the annual Manitoba Swine Seminar in Winnipeg.

Scientific claims won’t counter ethical questions about animal welfare

Pork producers can say that consumers don’t get it, that science is the basis for welfare and that castration doesn’t hurt, but the public won’t buy it — and that’s bad for business

If you’re a pork producer trying to convince someone your welfare practices are up to snuff, the last words you should pull out of your phrase book are “science” and “based.” Speaking to representatives of Manitoba’s pork industry during the annual Swine Seminar in Winnipeg, Dr. Tim Blackwell outlined the pitfalls and missteps that hurt