Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Olymel’s Alberta hog slaughter to resume

The company is being coy, but farm leaders believe the Olymel hog-slaughtering plant at Red Deer, Alta., will re-open this week, possibly as early as Wednesday.

It was shut down Feb. 15 because COVID-19 had spread among workers.

Richard Vigneault of Olymel corporate communications said late Monday that a reopening date has not been set and the company continues to work with Alberta Health Services and Occupational Health and Safety in determining when it can reopen.

But Alberta Pork’s  executive director, Darcy Fitzgerald, said Olymel could open as early as Wednesday, although he awaits confirmation.

He said a few producers have been told to be ready to ship hogs.

“It’s a sit and wait game right now. Hopefully this week we can get the plant back up and running again and then just start to work our way through that backlog of pigs that are waiting to get in.”

The plant has capacity to slaughter 45,000 hogs per week.