Work and research is constantly being done to find better ways to care for animals. We take animal welfare seriously. Producers realize the vital interest they have in raising healthy, well-cared-for animals. Studies show that pigs are more susceptible to diseases and less productive when they are subjected to stress from extreme heat or cold temperatures. Healthy, unstressed animals are better for both the farmer and the consumer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Alberta Pork do?
Alberta Pork is a non-profit organization representing all of Alberta’s hog producers. Alberta Pork educates the public about the pork industry, and represents producers’ interests to the government, the industry, the media, and the general public.
What is Traceability?
Swine Traceability is an important animal health and food safety system that tracks the location and movements of all pigs in Alberta, and allows us to track and stop disease before it spreads.
Where can I buy Alberta pork?
The Passion for Pork website contains excellent information and an interactive map on buying local, Alberta pork. http://www.passionforpork.com/find-local-pork/
Why are most pigs raised indoors rather than in open pastures?
Pig farms are generally quite different than the traditional image many people have of pigs wallowing in the mud. Years ago, pigs would lie in the mud to protect themselves from overheating and biting insects. Hogs today are raised in a variety of humane and safe ways to protect them from weather and pests.
Many hogs are kept indoors in buildings where the pork producer can control temperature, humidity and other environmental factors. These buildings are well-lit and clean so the hogs can be better cared for, reducing the risk of extreme weather conditions.
What is the lifecycle of a market pig?
- Pigs are pregnant for 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days
- Pigs generally give birth to between 10-13 piglets
- Born at around 2 pounds
- Piglets nurse from their mother for 3 weeks until they are weaned
- Grow 13-15 pounds at this stage
- Pigs are moved to a climate-controlled barn with pigs from other litters for 6-8 weeks
- Grow 50-60 pounds in this stage
- GROWING and FINISHING
- Pigs moved from nursery to a growing and finishing barn
- At 6 months of age, pigs will weigh around 280 pounds and are ready for market
Are there any added hormones in our pork?
Added hormones are not allowed in the production of pork in Canada. All mammals produce hormones naturally, so animal products will contain some trace amounts of hormones; not enough to affect a human.
How are antibiotics used in pork production?
Keeping animals healthy is a top priority for farmers and veterinarians. Antibiotics are used by farmers and vets only to treat sick pigs and prevent disease. Health Canada sets maximum levels that can be left in food, and these limits are set at levels far below the amount that could pose a health concern. Pork sold in Alberta is healthy and safe to eat.
Are modern farming methods sensitive to animal safety?
Do hog operations threaten the surrounding wildlife habitats?
Modern pork operations are able to increase food yield while using less space, allowing for greater areas of Canada’s natural habitat to be protected.
Large hayfields fertilized with manure provide natural food sources for many grazing wildlife species. Buffer zones around farm productions typically provide valuable forest and wetland habitats that may be destroyed with other types of development. Carnivorous species, such as owls and hawks, benefit from open areas typical of pork production operations because these species feed on local herbivore populations.
Have more questions? Send us an email!