Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pork council loses lawsuit

The Canadian Pork Council has lost a lawsuit it filed to retrieve almost $1 million from a Brandon credit union that sold a hog farm to Hutterites after the barns were involved in the Cull Breeding Swine Program in 2009.

One of the conditions attached to the program was a promise to not put pigs back into the barns for three years.

In this case, Crocus Country Pork Inc. went into receivership after it received support from the program that was administered by the Canadian Pork Council.

Westoba Credit Union in Brandon took the land and buildings and in January, 2010, sold them to a Hutterite colony.

An inspector from the pork council found 2,500 sows in the barns when he visited the farm in September, 2010.

The pork council filed its lawsuit in February, 2012, seeking return of the $780,851 paid to Crocus Country Pork, plus a 10 per cent administrative fee and penalty that was also one of the terms of the program.

The pork council sued the Westoba Credit Union and BDO Dunwoody Ltd., which administered the receivership.

The judge dismissed the lawsuit because he said there’s little chance the pork council could win against either the credit union or BDO Dunwoody.

The judge also ordered the pork council to pay Westoba $11,995 to cover its legal fees and BDO Dunwoody $12,084.

The cull program was designed to reduce the Canadian breeding herd by 10 per cent, which was about 150,000 sows. At the time North American hog prices were in a severe depression because of too many hogs coming to market.