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KAP News and Media

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October 30, 2015

PED virus, road safety, railways raised at KAP meeting

Farmers at Keystone Agricultural Producers general council meeting yesterday supported a resolution calling on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to halt a plan that pork producers believe will put their industry back at risk for porcine epidemic diarrhea virus.

The CFIA intends to eliminate its requirement that all trucks and trailers entering Manitoba from the U.S. must be washed in the province. Instead, it will allow vehicles to be washed in the U.S. – something the Manitoba Pork Council says is not adequate because only heat will kill the virus, and there are no U.S. facilities that use this method.

Meanwhile, in Manitoba, there are facilities at Blumenort and Brandon that not only wash the vehicles, but also expose them to high temperatures for an hour.

“This basically cooks the vehicle, and that’s what’s needed to prevent the spread of the virus,” said KAP president Dan Mazier. “The industry only recently received the all-clear from last year’s PEDv outbreak, a disease that came from the U.S., and producers are worried relaxing the rule will put their barns at risk once again.”

The virus poses no risk to humans or to other animals.

A number of other resolutions were also passed by KAP representatives from across the province, who met in Portage, including a renewed call on the federal government for open rail running rights. This would allow both railway companies, plus shortlines, to use all rail lines and not just the ones they own, thus improving grain transportation.

There was also a call on the provincial government to simplify the process of subdividing farmyard sites to expedite transition to new owners.

Another resolution, one that drew a good deal of discussion and numerous personal anecdotes, called for further efforts to protect farmers on roads and highways.

“We have worked with MPI and the media, issuing warnings to motorists about how to approach and pass large farm equipment, but producers say these warnings are not being heeded,” said Mazier.

“Many farmers are telling us of close calls, including one where a motorist passed a piece of farm equipment too late to avoid oncoming traffic, putting a vehicle with a mother and children into the ditch.”

The next opportunity for KAP members to come together and put forward resolutions addressing current issues in the agriculture industry and rural Manitoba will be at their annual meeting, January 27 and 28, in Winnipeg.

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For a complete list of resolutions from yesterday’s meeting:
val.ominski@kap.mb.ca

For more information
Dan Mazier, president – 204-720-4646
Val Ominski – communications – 204 -697-1140