Saskatchewan Producers Supportive of Proposed Cull Sow Slaughtering Facility

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Farmscape for June 5, 2020

Full Interview 5:40 Listen

The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board says news that Donald’s Fine Foods is looking into the prospects processing cull sows in Saskatchewan is exciting. Donald’s Fine Foods, a B.C. based pork processor, has purchased the former XL beef processing plant in Moose Jaw and is now examining the feasibility of converting the facility into a cull sow slaughtering plant. Mark Ferguson, the General Manager of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, notes Donald’s Fine Foods is already involved in the Thunder Creek pork processing plant in Moose Jaw so it’s already a major employer in the Saskatchewan pork industry and producers are excited to hear that the company is looking at expanding into cull sow processing.

Clip-Mark Ferguson-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
We do not have a modern high throughput federally inspected facility dedicated to processing cull sows in western Canada. Basically there’s no facility that can process this class of animal. They’re much larger than market hogs so you need different equipment to do it and different techniques. There are animals available in western Canada. Just to give you an idea, we have over half a million sows in western Canada. When we cull those sows, and we cull about 40 percent of them every year as a regular course of business, most of those sows are exported down to the U.S. Having a local market for those animals might mean a slightly higher price and higher value for them which would be great for producer. The other thing is the freight bill getting those animals down to the U.S. is quite large. They spend time on the trucks and I think for the welfare of the animals as well as the value received for those animals, having local company focussed on processing them would be a big win for producers.

Ferguson says any time you can add value to primary agriculture it’s a good thing. He says a lot of the jobs in the pork industry are on the processing side and being able to produce that food in Saskatchewan would be great.

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