Canadian conference on factory hogs, sustainable alternatives set for Saskatoon
Canada’s second annual National Conference on Intensive Livestock Operations will be held Nov. 8 and 9 at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK.

For More Information

Hogwatch Manitoba
Hogwatch Manitoba is one of the groups sponsoring the conference. Their web site provides detailed information on the conference, along with registration information and forms -- plus good background information of factory hog farms.

Hogwatch Manitoba is a coalition of social and environmental groups, farmers, friends of animals, social justice advocates, trade unionists and scientists concerned about the industrialization of livestock raising in Manitoba.

Manitoba hog production has doubled in the past five years to just over 6 million hogs produced annually, according to Laura Rance of the Farmers’ Independent Weekly ( of Winnipeg, MB. There is a great deal of concern about the environmental, economic and community impacts of factory hog operations.

Sustainable and humane alternatives are being promoted. Hoop houses produce about 10 percent of Manitoba’s hogs, although most of these alternatively housed hogs still go to the conventional market. The Winnipeg Humane Society has begun to help producers market Humane Certified Pork as one profitable alternative to intensive production.

Into this environment comes the National Conference on Intensive Livestock Operations, with its far-reaching theme: “Beyond Factory Farming: Are Intensive Livestock Operations Safe for: People? Communities? Our Economy? Our Environment? Is there a better way?”

Keynote speakers will be:

  • Rick Dove, a lawyer and commercial fisher from South Carolina who is active with the Waterkeeper Alliance
  • Fred Tait, vice president of the National Farmers Union (Canada)
  • Elizabeth May, executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada.

Other presenters at the two-day conference will include researchers in economics, environmental law, anthropology, biology; a labor leader, a national organic farming leader, hog farmers, and healthy hog system advocates.

A range of farm, environmental, educational and development groups is co-sponsoring the event.