Canadian Pork Council

Canadian Pork Council

April 30, 2008 10:54 ET

Canadian Pork Council: Cull Breeding Program Passes Halfway Point

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 30, 2008) - Canadian pork producers have already submitted applications to cover more than half of the 10% target set by the Cull Breeding Swine Program. The $50 million program, funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, is being accepted as a necessary step in the industry's ongoing efforts to adjust to current market realities. More than 75,000 animals were committed to the program in the first two weeks.

"The immediate surge of applications upon launch of the program is a clear indication of the financial stress and market pressures Canadian pork producers have been struggling with," says Clare Schlegel, president of the Canadian Pork Council. "We are pleased that the Federal government has provided assistance to adjust the size of our breeding herd in order to build a more robust industry long term."

Claims received to date indicate that two thirds of the animals eligible for the program were marketed prior to the program launch date. This shows producers were already trying to adjust to market conditions on their own. Meat from these animals was marketed through regular food channels.

Recent assistance from several provinces and private investors will allow a significant portion of the meat from animals culled after the April 14th launch date to be donated to food banks. "We are very pleased that much of the meat is destined to feed the hungry," says Schlegel. "While producers are suffering through a period when pork has little market value, this donated protein source will be greatly appreciated by the food banks and those individuals who rely on them."

Applications for the Cull Breeding Swine Program are available on the Canadian Pork Council website at Producers are also encouraged to contact the toll free line at 877-655-2567 to receive more information or assistance with the application process.

The Canadian Pork Council serves as the national voice for hog producers in Canada. The federation is composed of nine provincial pork industry associations and plays a leadership role in achieving and maintaining a dynamic and prosperous Canadian pork sector.

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