Manitoba hog farming moratorium worries butcher
A Winnipeg butcher is protesting the Manitoba government's moratorium on new and expanded hog barns in the province.
Marcel Joanisse, owner of the Dutch Meat Market in St. Boniface, held a protest in front of his shop Thursday morning to raise concerns about the lasting impacts of the province's moratorium on hog production.
The provincial government announced in June that it is banning any hog industry expansion that does not use advanced lagoons or leading-edge manure treatment facilities, in an effort to reduce phosphorus levels in Manitoba's lakes.
Joanisse said he worries the moratorium will put Manitoba's hog producers out of business and potentially increase pork prices.
"The small family-owned hog producers could be limited in their search for income and profits, and if they can't expand they may have to close their doors," Joanisse told CBC News in an interview.
The province's moratorium is part of a plan to reduce phosphorus levels by 50 per cent in Lake Winnipeg, which has been covered in massive algae blooms as a result of increased phosphorus levels.
The increased phosphorous levels are entering the lake — Canada's fifth-largest freshwater lake — from livestock farming, pollution from cities and through wetland loss.
But Joanisse said he has his own studies that indicate hog production is responsible for only one to two per cent of lake phosphorus levels.
"They have their studies, but hopefully with the information that's going to come through now, maybe we can get this reversed or we can change … some of the rules and regulations that they've put through," he said.
Joanisse said he wants somebody to listen to his concerns during the campaign leading up to the Oct. 4 provincial election.