Broken Promises


Our sow stall campaign is having an effect on Manitoba’s pig industry. In a recent letter to the editor of the Winnipeg Free Press, Karl Kynoch, Chairman of Manitoba Pork, attempted to falsely reassure the public by claiming all Manitoba Pork producers follow the recommended codes for the care and handling of pigs (in fact, the code specifically allows sow stalls and painful practices without pain relief), and are active participants in an „Animal Care Assessment Program“ (the program is completely voluntary). In an attempt to further confuse the public he stated that 95% of pigs in Manitoba are raised in groups. We quickly submitted a rebuttal to the paper but it was unfortunately not printed. We share it with you below. 318,000 sows are forced to exist in sow stalls in Manitoba. Please help us keep the focus on their plight and get them out of these small, cruel and unnecessary stalls once and for all. Thank you for standing with us in defending Canada’s farm animals. Twyla Francois Dear Editor, Re Adhering to code printed on October 21, Karl Kynoch again churns out the misleading rhetoric of Manitoba’s industrial pig producers following the recommended code of practice for the care and handling of pigs. What he fails to mention is that the code condones the use of sow stalls – tiny, barren metal and concrete crates, and allows for invasive, painful surgeries like castration without pain relief. Further, there are no third-party inspection or enforcement programs in place. In fact, our inspectors have conducted numerous investigations of Manitoba’s industrial pig barns and have uncovered disturbing patterns of neglect and cruelty. The cruelty can be divided into two categories – market weight pigs and breeding pigs. Breeding pigs are confined for life. So tightly they can’t turn around. In an attempt to minimize our argument that sow stalls are cruel, Mr. Kynoch states that “over 95 per cent of pigs raised in Manitoba are housed in groups for their entire life”. The 95 per cent he is referring to are market-weight pigs. It’s a clever re-framing of the argument but it too fails to describe the true picture of a market-weight pig’s life. While market-weight pigs are housed in groups, pens are overcrowded and living conditions are barren and filthy. The campaign Canadians for Ethical Treatment of Food Animals, the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals and the Winnipeg Humane Society are focused on refers to the latter – sows – the mother pigs intensively confined to barren, concrete and metal crates measuring 2′ x 7′ that are often so restrictive even changing positions is difficult for the sow. Rather than wasting time attempting to divert attention from the issue of confining sow stalls, Manitoba Pork should follow the example of many countries and U.S. states and map out how it intends to help producers make the switch from sow crates to group housing. TWYLA FRANCOIS Canadians for Ethical Treatment of Food Animals

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