Experts say pig producers are actually losing money on each pig sent into the market. Though prices have been getting better of late, they still lose about $15 per head. The farmers are facing an ugly confluence of record high feed prices, a higher dollar making exports less attractive, and food labelling initiatives south of the border that will make Canadian meat less attractive for processors.
The government's solution was to pay farmers to kill their pigs – $225 per euthanized sow. The farmer must agree to keep their barn empty of sows for at least three years. The goal is to reduce the national sow herd by 10 per cent, which would mean about 3 million fewer hogs per year. Ultimately, the goal is fewer pigs, and higher prices.
I don’t have a swine in this fight as I do not eat pork or pork by-products in any form, but I really find it hard to comprehend why the Ministry of Agriculture sees this as a win situation – especially in light of how its stiffs Canadian consumers with the sow bill for this program, and then, we pay for the privilege with higher prices at the check-out counter of the grocery store.
One more little detail – apparently, the euthanized sows are to slaughtered and distributed to food banks to feed the ‘poor’….which makes it all good…unless you are poor and don’t eat pork…