Livestock producers and transporters are sometimes challenged to deal with protestors. The best way, and in Geraldine Auston’s view the only way, is to always do the right thing. 
| File photo

Do the right thing, livestock handlers told

BANFF, Alta. — There’s probably a protest aimed at improving animal rights or animal welfare, somewhere in Canada, every day. Livestock producers and transporters are sometimes challenged to deal with them. The best way, and in Geraldine Auston’s view the only way, is to always do the right thing. She said that means handling animals […] Read more

Gestation stalls were introduced in the 1970s to prevent fighting among sows and allow producers to provide individual care, but animal welfare organizations have pushed the industry toward open housing.  |  File photo

Move from gestation stalls no silver bullet

BANFF, Alta. — Thirty-five years ago, animal welfare considerations led to sows being housed in gestation stalls. Sows received individual care, there was no fighting among them and more live piglets were produced compared to previous production methods. Today, views on animal welfare have changed and hog producers have to comply with them, said Dr. […] Read more

Electronic feeders allow sows free access to feed.  |  File photo

Start hog housing transition at ground level, says expert

BANFF, Alta. — There are pitfalls when converting sow barns to open housing systems, and producers can learn from those who have already trodden the path. Canadian sow barns that haven’t yet converted to open sow housing are mandated to do so by July 2024, as required in the code of practice for the care […] Read more


The code of practice for the care and handling of pigs will require sow barns to convert to open sow housing by 2024.  |  Getty photo

Open sow barns need good people in place

Moving from pen gestation barns to open housing 
raises the bar in terms of skills needed by the ideal manager

BANFF, Alta. — Think like a pig. And a single word for thinking like a pig, at least in an open sow barn setting, is stockmanship. Dr. Tom Parsons was a hog farmer before he became a veterinarian and professor in swine medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He told those at the Banff Pork […] Read more

Mandatory country-of-origin labelling in  the United States is on its way out, says the head of the U.S. National Pork Producers Council.  |  File photo

U.S. meat group says COOL is doomed

BANFF, Alta. — The head of the National Pork Producers Council is convinced the United States will lose its final attempt to defend mandatory country-of-origin labelling at the World Trade Organization. Howard Hill, an Iowa producer and veterinarian, also believes some form of labelling on retail meat is unavoidable. “We do realize today that there […] Read more


Porcine epidemic diarrhea causes dehydration and can lead to death. The virus poses the greatest risk to piglets.  |  File photo

Quick response key to PED control

Same day diagnosis | Swift lab analysis in Canada’s first case put control efforts into action

BANFF — Veterinarian Doug MacDougald had been optimistic about Canadian producers’ ability to manage porcine epidemic diarrhea before its discovery on a southwestern Ontario hog farm was announced last week. And while he remained positive late last week as news spread of the country’s first case of PED, he warned that the Canadian industry is […] Read more