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Report on megapig farms: another agriculture is possible!

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montreal, March 22, 2022 – On the occasion of World Water Day, the coalition Megapigs, no thanks! releases a report which presents a historical and critical portrait of the pork industry in Quebec and proposes possible solutions. While, faced with the excesses of Olymel/Sollio, pig breeders have themselves decreed a temporary moratorium on new productions, this report proposes a reflection aimed at raising awareness among the population and encouraging public debate. 

“This moment of pause is particularly appropriate to modify the supervision of the pork industry in Quebec. In addition to the case of Saint-Adelphe for which we reiterate our desire for the government to intervene, the health and climate crises must be an opportunity to promote a transition towards agricultural models favoring food autonomy while being more respectful of our water and of our ecosystems,” declared Pierre Avignon, spokesperson for the coalition.     

Make the invisible visible

To use the slogan of the World Water Day organized by the United Nations each year to remind people of the importance of fresh water, our report aims to make the invisible visible. Indeed, while much research has been published in recent decades on the effects of the pork industry and the state of water resources, the latter was scattered and little known. Thus briefs submitted to the 2003 BAPE on the pork industry, at the 2020 state of water resources report, passing through the 2008 Future of Agriculture Report, a significant number of experts, researchers and groups have spoken out on these important subjects. “We want citizens, but also all people in the agricultural world, to have access to an overview of the situation so that we can find collective solutions to the problems of social and environmental acceptability posed by the development of megapig farms. in Quebec,” concluded the coalition spokespersons Megapigs, no thanks!     

Our proposals for another agriculture in the face of megapig farms

At the conclusion of the report, we relaunch thirteen proposals from the 2003 report of the Office of Public Hearing on the Environment: 

  1. Carry out a public consultation in the MRCs for the establishment of an interim control regulation relating to the agricultural zone;
  2. Request a re-evaluation of the determination of separating distances, particularly regarding spreading;
  3. Increase the use of quotas uses provided for in the Law on development and town planning in order to control the density of pig farms;
  4. Inform and consult citizens prior to the issuance of the certificate of authorization by the Ministry of the Environment;
  5. Organize a biennial forum on the inclusion of pork production in sustainable development;
  6. Review the procedure allowing environmental impact investigations to be carried out in order to submit large-scale pig projects;
  7. Provide the Minister of the Environment (MELCC) with discretionary power so that he can prohibit any installation that contains between 2,500 and 4,000 animal units per building.
  8. Accentuate research efforts on the impacts on health and water contamination for populations and workers;
  9. Support organic farming, improve animal welfare and limit the feeding of pigs to GMO plants and the use of antibiotics;
  10. Review the agricultural income stabilization program so that it targets people who work on a family or human-scale farm (at most 4 people) and exclude legal entities;
  11. Improve the management of manure and slurry by involving independent agronomists, by intensifying control and surveillance measures, by discouraging pig farms without soil (due to the precariousness of spreading agreements) as well as the development or expansion of pigsties in areas with a phosphorus surplus; 
  12. Improve water protection in particular by: intensifying the monitoring of surface water quality, increasing awareness among the agricultural community about the protection of aquatic environments, revising the standards concerning riparian zones and enforcing them, further regulating the deforestation, by strengthening eco-conditional measures (public aid only if respect for the environment);
  13. Adopt a watershed approach to adequately manage surplus fertilizer materials by setting a maximum concentration of each species based on the characteristics of each watershed.

Citizen groups and personalities supporting the report

Access the report on megapig farms

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For informations :

Sophie Lachance
Project manager for communications and mobilization
514 272-2666, ext. 307
communications@fondationrivieres.org

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