Initial Reaction to Proposed Moose Jaw Cull Sow Slaughtering Plant Positive

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Farmscape for June 8, 2020

Full Interview 9:16 Listen

The Industry Relations Manager with Donald’s Fine Foods says the initial response to the proposed development of a cull sow slaughtering facility in Moose Jaw has been positive. Donald’s Fine Foods, which operates market hog slaughter plants in Langley, B.C. and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan is evaluating the feasibility of converting the former XL beef plant in Moose Jaw into a cull sow slaughtering facility.
Neil Ketilson, the Industry Relations Manager with Donald’s Fine Foods, says so far the reaction has been positive.

Clip-Neil Ketilson-Donald’s Fine Foods:
First of all, based on the initial thoughts in terms of the business plan and the operation that they might put in, there’d be about 100 brand new jobs that would go into the city of Moose Jaw. It would be totally stand alone from the existing facility so all of the positions would be brand new. From a producer point of view, right now the value of the cull sows is really not very great because 80 percent or more are exported to the United States for processing. When you think that most of those animals are quite large, think about trucking them all the way down to the United States, transportation costs are a big part of the value of the hog and so at the very least I think producers are going to save some money in terms of transportation costs. The other thing is, from an industry perspective and government, we always worry about the border in terms of closures and the risk that might be associated with that, COVID being a prime example of things like that that that pop up that we don’t expect. Also there’s the inherent health risk of transporting to and from the United States.
They have endemic diseases down there that we don’t have here and so, from a biosecurity and health point of view, I think there’s a lot of benefits there as well.

The results of the feasibility study are expected in six to eight weeks. Ketilson says engineers are already on site looking at the structural soundness of the building, how it might be reconfigured to accommodate a sow processing plant and what equipment will be needed.

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