Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pork board signs deal with SPCA

While many farmers are reviling the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Ontario Pork board has signed a deal to help the agency deal with complaints about abuse on pig farms.

The agreement is that the two organizations “work together when investigating complaints about animal welfare on swine farms,” the pork board says on its website today.

“This arrangement addresses both Ontario Pork’s and Ontario SPCA’s responsibilities regarding animal welfare.

“Under the agreement, both organizations will work together to address concerns of animal abuse or neglect.

“Ontario Pork will provide technical assistance to Ontario SPCA officers in cases where inadequate animal care may be occurring on swine farms.

“Further, Ontario Pork and Ontario SPCA have agreed that upon at least 48 hours notice, Ontario Pork will visit a swine farm in conjunction with Ontario SPCA officers for the purpose of investigating any complaints or allegations of inadequate animal care.

“Similarly, Ontario SPCA has agreed to contact Ontario Pork with at least 48 hours notice, except in situations where animals are in immediate distress, to arrange a joint inspection of the licensed farm property.

“Ontario Pork and Ontario SPCA will host joint education sessions on an annual basis to exchange information and experiences related to on-farm animal care and Code of Practice issues.”

The two organizations have co-operated in the past, most famously when Jim Long’s hog-breeding operations near London, Ont., were in financial collapse and the pigs were neglected, dying and in extreme distress.

Long is a now a high-profile hog-industry commentator and breeding-company employee in the United States.

The co-operation on hog-farming issues is a stark contrast with confrontations in Eastern Ontario over dairy cattle and in Perth County over Mennonites raising dogs.

In the dairy cases, farmers and the lawyers who represent them have argued that the SPCA officer involved in laying charges was out of line.