Proposed Saskatchewan Cull Sow Slaughter Plant Offers Biosecurity and Animal Welfare Advantages

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Farmscape for July 15, 2020

Full Interview 8:35 Listen

A partner in Polar Pork Farms suggests the creation of a Saskatchewan based cull sow slaughtering facility would enhance biosecurity and improve animal welfare. British Columbia based Donald’s Fine Foods, which operates the Thunder Creek pork processing plant in Moose Jaw, is evaluating the feasibility of converting the former XL beef processing plant in Moose Jaw into a cull sow slaughtering plant.
Florian Possberg, a partner in Polar Pork Farms, says a Saskatchewan based cull sow slaughtering facility would benefit producers not only in Saskatchewan but also Alberta and Manitoba.

Clip-Florian Possberg-Polar Pork Farms:
Currently a lot of our cull sows end up being assembled in Manitoba and then continue on into the United States to some fairly large sow slaughtering facilities. It’s quite a long trip. It means that our animals are on the road for quite awhile. There’s a cost of freight but, more importantly right now, there’s really a constraint in the number of animals that can be processed in the U.S. so the idea of having the animals travel for probably no more than a few hours rather than maybe in excess of a day and in some cases maybe a couple of days and being reassembled in other places and sorted and going through all that hassle, to have a plant here in Saskatchewan, particularly one that’s sized to meet our needs, there’s really an opportunity to add welfare to these animals.

Possberg says, although producers are doing a good job of washing and disinfecting trailers, if you can stay close to home and keep your equipment out of areas that have things like PED, PRRS and other highly contagious infectious diseases, that would be a great help.

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