GFM Network News


Maple Leaf Foods says it is over half done its conversions to open sow housing.

Maple Leaf pulls ahead on open sow housing

Gestation crates will be a thing of the past at Maple Leaf Foods as of 2021, three years ahead of the National Farm Animal Care Council’s deadline

Maple Leaf Foods now expects to complete its shift to open sow housing with years to spare. The company is more than halfway completed its transition, according to Dr. Greg Douglas, vice-president of animal care. About 40,000 of the company’s 70,000 sows are currently managed under the advanced open-housing system, and the company expects to

Pig pats promote productivity

The less fearful of humans a swine herd is, the higher its productivity will be

It turns out one bad human can spoil the bunch — at least when it comes to pigs. Speaking to producers and pork industry representatives at the annual swine seminar in Winnipeg earlier this month, Grahame Coleman told those gathered that pigs can’t always distinguish between people, particularly if they are dressed in similar garb


All pigs need to be traceable for a national program to work.

Fines now possible under traceability program

This little pig went to market, this little pig stayed home — but both need to register with PigTrace

No matter how big or small, you have to start to tag them all. With the final phase of the Canadian Pork Council’s PigTrace national traceability program now in effect, both commercial and hobby farms can face financial penalties for failure to comply. Right now though regulators appear to still be focusing more on education

Editorial: Pork sector making progress

A recent survey suggests the Manitoba pork sector is making incremental but important gains in repairing its relationship with the general public. A survey of 1,000 households conducted by Probe Research recently found 56 per cent favoured loosening the restrictions the Manitoba government has placed on new barn construction. Thirty-two per cent favoured leaving those

PEDv spread like wildfire in the U.S., but Canada successfully limited its spread.

Standing tall: How Canada’s pork sector survived the attack of a killer virus

PEDv decimated the U.S. hog herd, but Canada showed how to do biosecurity right

When it comes to finding expert advice on biosecurity, cattle producers might want to sit down with their local hog farmer. The country’s outstanding record on controlling the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus has a host of lessons for the cattle sector, says a swine veterinarian who was deeply involved in Alberta’s battle against PEDv. Start


Researchers believe wild boars are more prevalent than many people realize.

Tracking the elusive but destructive wild boar

The highly reclusive wild boar may be responsible for much more 
crop damage than previously thought

Ruth Kost has never seen a wild boar before but she’s hoping that will change after a summer spent tracking the elusive beast. “They don’t like to show themselves,” said the University of Saskatchewan master’s student. “They are kind of reclusive, they avoid people… and they’re very aware of hunting pressures.” But just because you

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is working to develop a commercially available precision feeder.

Precision feeder for swine under development

Developers estimate that producers will be able to raise the same quality of carcass with 10 to 15 per cent less feed cost

Technology that will enable swine producers to cater to the specific feeding need of each individual pig will be moving into commercial trials early next year. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) dairy and swine research and development centre has been working towards the commercial development of a computerized precision feeder that will allow producers to

Public rallies around loose sow

Within hours the sow had been named and a rescue fundraiser started

Pigs were in the Winnipeg headlines last week over the fate of a sow that had fallen off a livestock truck and was found roaming near Winnipeg’s south perimeter. Manitoba Pork says staff, representatives from the Office of the Chief Veterinarian of Manitoba, and the Winnipeg Police Service contained the animal and loaded it onto


Changes to satisfy hog enrichment don’t have to be expensive

Hog producers are looking at ways of meeting new animal care requirements as they come into effect

As Manitoba hog producers begin implementing the new code of practice, it’s clear that sow barn conversions are top of mind. “We’ve had a lot of questions looking for clarity about the group housing; there are different requirements,” noted Yolande Seddon, a researcher at the Prairie Swine Centre in Saskatchewan. As of last year, the

Mandatory swine-tracking rules now in place for Canada

There are a lot of new procedures for farmers moving pigs

A new law to track Canada’s pigs took effect July 1. It’s designed to keep herds healthy, improve food safety and promote exports, Manitoba Pork Council chair Karl Kynoch said in a telephone broadcast June 25. “Traceability has become mandatory and is extremely important for both tracking diseases here in Manitoba and to eliminate them