Manitoba

Shockwaves in Manitoba's hog industry over investigation

People in Manitoba's hog industry are shocked a farm in the western part of the province is under investigation for animal cruelty, after 1,300 piglets were discovered in distress and had to be euthanized.

People in Manitoba's hog industry are shocked a farm in the western part of the province is under investigation for animal cruelty. 

Provincial officials euthanized 1,300 piglets Friday after they were discovered in severe distress.

Joseph Waldner lives on the Cascade Colony near MacGregor. He said there are rumours the farmer who owns the land where the pigs were found is in financial trouble.

"In a situation like that where a farmer is in a situation where he needs to maintain a barn, sometimes it could take a toll on a person," he said.

Waldner said with the price of grain skyrocketing it would be difficult for a farmer to find someone else to take the animals.

"With the grain prices and the drought we've been having, who can afford to feed them?" he said.

The Manitoba Pork Council agreed the industry is taking a hit because of the rising cost of feed, but Andrew Dickson said there is a process for farmers who want to get rid of animals.

The provincial vet is investigating after the animals were found in "severe distress" but no further information was give.

"Producers are shocked by such actions and would hope the public would believe that is not reflective of how we raise our animals on a regular basis," he said.

Dickson says there is never an excuse to treat animals inhumanely.

Keystone Agricultural Producers head Doug Chorney told CBC News many pork producers are selling off their hogs to reduce their overhead.