Monday’s announcement regarding the proposed Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2019, was welcomed by Ontario Pork members and their partners in food production across the province.
Farmers and others in the livestock industry respect the right to peaceful protest, but increasingly find their homes, property, land and vehicles encroached upon by individuals seeking to end their livelihood. These invasions put the safety of people, animals and our food supply at risk.
Together, Ontario’s farming industry brought their concerns to provincial leaders. We thank all of those who took the time to listen carefully, gather information and propose a new way forward that will help ensure Ontario’s food supply remains one of the best in the world.
This proposed legislation respects the right to peaceful protest, while restoring balance between the high standards of animal care inherent to pork farming, and protection for farmers, transporters and others involved in food production. It underscores the importance of biosecurity practices that keep animals healthy, help reduce antibiotic use, and ensure that we never have to question what the food we eat might contain. It will reduce workplace harassment of farmers, transporters and processors, and better protect farmers from invasions of their homes and businesses.
Most importantly, it will give our judicial system much needed tools to ensure real consequences for those who choose to break the law to disrupt farming and food production.
Ontario Pork represents the 1,179 farmers who market 5.5 million hogs in the province. The organization is engaged in many areas, including research, government representation, environmental issues, consumer education and food quality assurance.