The hogwash continues!Attached is the premier issue of newsletter of the Concerned
Citizens for our Community Environments (CCCE).
Print copies, with more detailed information, are available at the Bakery and the Corner Store in Tamworth, Ontario.
The "No Piggy Golf Tournament" is scheduled for Sunday, August 26, 2001 at Rivendell Golf Club in Verona. For tickets contact Richard Saxe at 613 379-1128.
Thank you for your ongoing support!
H O G W A S H
The Voice of the CCCE
May 27, 2001 Volume 1, Issue 1
CCCE alive and hog kicking!
The controversy over the Erinsville hog factory farm, expected to house 1,400 breeding sows and their litters, has not ended. People are wondering what has happened since the highly successful public meeting held in St. Patrick's Hall Erinsville in April, 2001, where two members of the Stone Mills Council, Deputy Reeve Douglas Bearance and Robert Gaffney, publicly
vowed to protect Stone Mills residents from the hog factory. This newsletter will address the silence.
If you are new to the issue, you will find some background information below.
Erinsville's Hog Factory Farm Controversy
Part 1: What is a Hog Factory Farm (Intensive Livestock Operation)?
Intensive Livestock Operations (ILOs) are industrial farmers. Large corporate interests like Smithfield Foods in the USA, Maple Leaf or Premium Pork here often own their operations. These are large meat or multi-food processing companies. Since inexpensive food products are the primary concern of these corporations, thousands of animals are housed in the same barn. They never see the light of day. Their offspring are often shipped to another factory farmer for fattening before they are slaughtered - all within a very short period of time.Because of the cramped quarters, the animals must be fed antibiotics in
order to keep them disease free.
Enormous quantities of urine and manure, held in open holding tanks or lagoons, are the waste products of these factories. The liquid manure is then sprayed on neighbouring farmers' fields. The quantities of manure from these factory farms are volumes never before known in family farming. This is one reason why these farms are dangerous to our health and environment.
There are CCCE fact sheets on these farms available at the Bakery in Tamworth or the following web sites may be of assistance:
Part 2: Why Worry about ILOs?
There have been manure spills from such operations in Ontario. Most, but not all, have been in Huron County. In the Hay Bay area an operator was charged with putting manure directly into Lake Ontario. As the following article details, Ontario is open for hog factories.
From The Ottawa Citizen, Front Page, Monday, June 4, 2001
Factory-farm boom unregulated: Ontario dithers as huge farms create potential health disaster
By April Lindgren
TORONTO -- Industrial-sized hog, poultry and cattle barns that generate tonnes of manure are going up at the average rate of one a day in Ontario, despite warnings about their polluting ways and the absence of strict controls on their operations.
The building boom, particularly in the hog industry, is under way while the Ontario government continues to dither over new rules to control manure spreading by large farm operations. Manure, albeit from a small farm, was pinpointed as the source of E. coli contamination that a year ago polluted a low-lying well in Walkerton, Ont., killing seven people who drank from the
"It's an industry that's operating under guidelines and practices that are totally unsuitable -- that were meant for Old McDonald's farm when we're dealing with factories," says Don Mills, chairman of intensive livestock operations for the Sierra Club environmental organization in Eastern Canada.
"We have a company here in the London area -- it's building another barn near me -- that was raising 20,000 sows last year. It's incredible growth for a company that didn't exist five years ago."
In the aftermath of the Walkerton tragedy, Ontario's environment commissioner said there are "virtually no controls" on how the massive amount of manure from intensive agricultural operations is stored and spread.
The growing number of what critics call "factory farms" has also led to court battles pitting expansionist farmers against citizens and municipalities concerned about smells and water pollution.
"Every time you put up a barn for 4,000 hogs, you are taking volumes of manure equivalent to a municipality with 20,000 people and you are spreading it raw, untreated, with no environmental assessment required, on the land," says Valerie M'Garry, a London, Ont., lawyer who is representing citizens in two separate cases where big-barn construction projects are being challenged.
Statistics from the Ontario Agriculture Ministry indicate officials now review between 300 and 400 manure management plans a year from farm operators who are building or expanding big barns. The majority of these plans, which outline manure production and spreading plans, are for hog operations in southern Ontario, where in many cases the new barns house
2,000 animals or more.
A new manure management study in Huron County along the shores of Lake Huron found that a new livestock barn came into production in that jurisdiction every 10 days on average between 1996 and 2000.
The Maitland River watershed, which flows into the lake near Goderich from the northern part of the county, has the highest concentration of manure produced in Canada. Quoting Statistics Canada data, the report said that with 7,600 kilograms of manure per hectare, manure production in the watershed was 10 times higher than the average watershed with livestock in
After 18 months of consultations and repeated promises to bring in legislation that provides monitoring and limits on farm size, the Ontario government may finally introduce a bill for first reading later this month.
Clare Shlegel, chair of Ontario Pork, said the pork producers represented by his organization want clear legislation to live by, including on-site farm inspections and audits, if that's what required to restore community faith in their environmental stewardship.
"Farmers in recent years have been feeling looked down upon as polluters rather than as caretakers of the land and we're eager to find ways to turn that back to the way it was originally," he said, noting that while farms have grown larger, more mechanized and more efficient, Ontario's pork production has remained steady at about 4.65 million animals per year for more than a decade.
But a government source said "a very strong farm lobby" has opposed strong enforcement provisions in the new legislation and caused repeated delays. Liberal environment critic Jim Bradley says rural members of the Conservative caucus have also balked at tough measures.
Agriculture Minister Brian Coburn said last week there is still no decision "on who would do the monitoring." In an interview, Mr. Coburn also said that size isn't the issue when it comes to big farm operations: "It's how you manage the nutrient (manure) that comes from these facilities."
Current laws are vague on the rights of municipalities to regulate intensive farm operations. While some communities require them to file manure management plans, which are then forwarded to the Environment Ministry for review, not all municipalities make such demands. What's more, local officials say lack of resources, expertise and authority mean they have never monitored the farm operations to see if they are living up to their promises.
Lax regulations on large-scale pig farms led to serious water and air pollution problems in the Netherlands, North Carolina and Quebec. The Dutch have drastically reduced hog production. North Carolina has a moratorium on new barns and Quebec has banned new production in some regions.
What Has the CCCE Done Recently?
May 2, 2001: A Visit from Environment Canada
One of our objectives has been to get federal government agencies directly involved, in particular Environment Canada (EC). EC administers Section 36 of the Fisheries Act, which prohibits the direct or indirect deposit of deleterious substances (which may include farm runoff) to water inhabited by fish. After several weeks of verbal and written communications, we were
successful in getting a representative from EC to attend Erinsville to assess the potential impact the proposed hog operation may have on our environment. An inspector accompanied him from the Emergencies and Enforcement Division.
After a tour of the area immediately surrounding the proposed site, an informal meeting took place on Waddell Road attended by Councilor Dwayne Williams, Sue Smyth, Al Mulligan (members of the Agricultural Committee), and Bob Clancy (Chair of the Agricultural Committee), Reg Unger, Stone Mills Township Chief Building Inspector as well as Andrew Schmidt of the Quinte Conservation Authority.
The EC representatives left offering to give a written opinion on the issue if the Stone Mills Council requested one. Two representatives of the CCCE took this information to the next Stone Mills Council meeting of May 7th asking that Council seek all the assistance offered, including Quinte Conservation Authority and the Department of Public Health. Council agreed
to consult these agencies. The CCCE also asked Council to seek advice from an environmental lawyer, as we have not had any indication that this avenue has been pursued.
April 17, 2001: Alerting Neighbouring Municipalities
On April 17, three representatives of the CCCE attended the Tweed Municipal Council meeting to alert them to the situation in Stone Mills Township. Reeve Mumford, who felt zoning might be the best way to handle such issues in Tweed municipality, directed the information to the township planners.
May 7 and May 22 and June 4: Ongoing Representation at Stone Mills Municipal Council
The CCCE, at May and June Council meetings, have made representation to the Stone Mills Council. CCCE has been assured that even though its lawyers have advised Council against a moratorium, ways are being sought to deal with the application in the Erinsville site. A CCCE member was informed, by Reeve Macdonald, that a letter explaining a number of expensive precautionary measures that would have to accompany the application for permit was sent to Mark Slack. No response has been made to date.
Coming in September: Planning for further Public Information
The CCCE, in conjunction with the Stone Mills Township, the National Farmers Union, and the Association of Christian Farmers, as well as the Ontario Federation of Agriculture are planning an agricultural meeting for early September. This meeting will address the question of the "inevitability" of factory farming. It is hoped that concerned residents will attend to hear
about the debate from the perspective of different agricultural groups.
Although there have been changes at the committee level, the CCCE is still actively pursuing a resolution to this threat and will continue to do so. Depending on the results of the Council's most recent deliberations, we may or may not call a public information meeting. In the meantime, the CCCE will keep you posted as new developments take place. In the event the Township allows the Erinsville permit to be issued, then we will need to call on you to play an active role. Regardless, we will continue to represent the community until the situation is resolved.
We are still accepting donations to the bank account in Tamworth and we need funds to keep up with expenses. The CCCE accounting is listed in detail on page four. Thank you for your continued support.
By e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or regular mail
Concerned Citizens for our Community Environments,
c/o General Delivery,
Tamworth, ON, K0K 3G0
What You Can Do...
Continue calling and writing letters to each Council member. A sample letter appears on our web site http: to assist you. Print copies are available in Tamworth at the Bakery and the Corner Store. Here are the names and addresses of Council members:
Reeve: James Macdonald (613) 378-2459 RR #3, Yarker, ON., K0K 3N0
Deputy Reeve (Wards 2): Douglas Bearance (613) 379-2440(w), (613) 375-8874 (h)
RR #1, Parham, ON., K0H 2K0 or Box 219, Tamworth, On., K0K 3G0
Councilor (Ward 3): Douglas Davidson (613) 377-6420. RR #2, Yarker, ON., K0K 3N0
Councilor (Ward 2): Robert Gaffney (613) 379-2680. PO Box 92, Tamworth, ON., K0K 3G0
Councilor (Ward 3): Debbie Thompson (613) 378-1553. RR #1, Centreville, ON., K0K 1N0
Councilor (Ward 1): Kevin Wagar (613) 378-1546. PO Box 35, Newburgh, ON., K0K 2S0
Councilor (Ward 3): Duane Williams (613) 378-2241. PO Box 11, Camden East, ON., K0K 1J0
More info at The PigFarm Cyberclassroom: www.cyberclass.net/smtable.htm