Rallies in support of pork planned for Edmonton, Calgary
A group representing pork producers in Alberta is holding lunch rallies in Edmonton and Calgary this week to help show support for an industry worried about what effect misconceptions about swine flu may have on the consumption of their products.
Free pulled pork sandwiches will be served at the rally at the Alberta legislature on Tuesday, and Wednesday at the McDougall Centre in Calgary.
Premier Ed Stelmach, Alberta Agriculture Minister George Groeneveld and Alberta Pork chairman Herman Simons will speak at the event in Edmonton.
"The pork lunch rallies are about showing support for our industry and demonstrating to consumers they can be confident in the safety of Canadian pork," Alberta Pork's Roy Kruse said in a news release.
A similar lunch-hour rally was held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa last Wednesday.
About 10 countries banned Canadian pork products when H1N1 influenza A was found on a central Alberta pig farm, even though Canadian health and veterinary officials have said there is no risk of getting the virus from eating pork.
Hogs at the farm near Rocky Mountain House were placed under quarantine after the virus was discovered in the herd.
About 500 of the animals were culled on Friday, but officials said that was done to help ease overcrowding on the farm.
None of the culled animals will enter the human food chain. The remaining animals remain under quarantine.
On Monday, Alberta announced three more confirmed human cases of swine flu, all mild, bringing the provincial total to 52.