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Its time to put the friendly back into Manitoba farming.

Three regional moratoriums on hog industry expansion were made with the formal passage of Bill 17, an amendment to the Environment Act on September 24 2008.

About Bill 17

There is a small minority who would have you believe that Bill 17 would devastate our province. Actually, the Bill does not go far enough. It will still allow unfriendly factory hog barns to operate and expand in most of rural Manitoba.

Bill 17 is an amendment to the Manitoba Environment Act which prohibits the construction or expansion of confined livestock areas for hogs and hog manure storage facilities in specific areas of Manitoba. It allows existing factory farms in these areas to carry on as usual.

Less than one third affected

However, these areas make up less than a third of Manitoba's farm land, leaving the rest of the province open for unfettered large-scale factory hog production. Shifting a polluting industry from one part of the province to the other is not friendly to family farms, not friendly to the environment, and not friendly to rural Manitoba. And as it stands, Bill 17 will not reverse the deterioration of Lake Winnipeg.

Industry consolidates

With millions of dollars of taxpayer aid, Manitoba's hog industry is restructuring, consolidating and expanding their slaughter capacity. This means Maple Leaf Foods and Hytek will be building new factory finishing barns in western Manitoba.