According to Radio-Canada, hog farmers are finalizing an historic plan to market their animals, a necessary step to avoid euthanizing the 95,000 pigs currently piling up in Quebec hog barns.
The outbreaks of COVID-19 among the staff of two Olymel slaughterhouses, in Vallée-Jonction in Beauce, and Princeville in Centre-du-Québec, are one of the reasons why this exceptional measure was adopted.
Elsewhere in the country, Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta are used to exporting to the United States. Quebec, however, has always processed meat locally. On a few rare occasions, Quebec hogs have been processed in Red Deer, Alberta, but never has concerted action been taken by industry players.
Between 5,000 and 10,000 hogs per week should be slaughtered in Alberta, but this is not enough. Producers hope to be able to sell as many as possible to the United States, even if they anticipate financial losses. Hog producers will be responsible for the cost of transporting the animals.