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Pork council critical of video from hog farm

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The Manitoba Pork Council is speaking out against a video released today that shows a disturbing video of cruelty towards pigs at a Manitoba hog farm.

"This is three months of video being edited down into 10 minutes," said Manitoba Pork Council chairman Karl Kynoch.

"Even in the health care system you could edit video and come up with some disturbing stuff. They are going to go in and look for the worst moments because their end goal is that everybody stops eating meat."

The video released by Mercy for Animals Canada was shot undercover at a hog farm in Arborg in 2012. It shows pigs left in extremely small gestation pens for long periods of time, pigs being mutilated and even piglets slammed against concrete and left to die slowly among other abuses.

Kynoch said slamming pigs against concrete is the way Manitoba pig farms euthanize pigs and that when done properly it is the most humane way to kill the animals.

"We use the blunt force trauma because it is the most effective and humane way to euthanize a pig when done properly. You want to euthanize with the least amount of pain possible," he said.

He said he was disturbed by some of what he saw on the video.

"Seeing employees doing it improperly was very disappointing and it is obvious that more training needs to be carried out."

Kynoch also responded to video of pregnant female pigs being left in tiny gestation pens for long periods of time.

"95 per cent of pigs in Manitoba are not in those pens. Most are in open pens. It is just the pregnant female pigs that are in the pens because we are trying to deliver the best care possible and be able to care for each of them individually."

Twyla Francois, the director of Investigators for Mercy for Animals Canada, said the hog industry in Canada needs to update the way it runs hog farms.

"Canada is incredibly archaic in the way that our factory farms are run," said Francois "The gestation crates are such a cruel practice that they have been banned in the entire European Union, New Zealand, Australia and nine U.S. States and increasingly more and more retailers are moving to practices that do not come from this system."

Francois also said the hog industry in Canada doesn’t change because of "institutionalized ignorance which they find profitable but we find appalling."

The video was shot over a three-month period. The farm in the video is a part of Puratone, Canada’s third largest pork producer.

The Manitoba Pork Council said in a release it has given the video to the chief veterinary officer in Manitoba who will determine if this is a case of animal cruelty.

Warning: disturbing content

History

Updated on Monday, December 10, 2012 at 3:39 PM CST: update

3:41 PM: links

5:04 PM: Replaces old information in story.

5:24 PM: Breaks quote into two parts.

5:34 PM: Adds video.

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