COVID-19: Resources for the Manitoba hog sector
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Manitoba Pork’s Board of Directors and staff are committed to supporting pork producers and stakeholders. Manitoba Pork is working closely with the Government of Manitoba and the Canadian Pork Council (CPC), in collaboration with the Government of Canada, to ensure a coordinated effort in addressing the economic impact of COVID-19 on the hog sector. Rest assured that all stakeholders understand the importance of keeping livestock operations, processing plants, feed mills and the transport sector operating. Let us know how we can assist you, by calling 204-237-7447 or by visiting our Contact Us page.
Scroll down this page to find information on current Manitoba Pork activities, including ordering ear tags, CPE validations, links to reliable sources for the latest COVID-19 information, advice on working with animals and answers to some frequently asked questions.
Manitoba Pork’s office at 28 Terracon Place is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please minimize person-to-person contact by emailing or phoning in requests for information, ear tags and other resources. All farm visits and in-person meetings and training sessions have been postponed.
Contact us by phone, fax, email or regular mail:
- Tel: 204-237-7447
- Fax: 204-237-9831
- Contact Us
- 28 Terracon Place, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R2J 4G7
Human resources during COVID-19
Ear tag orders
- Manitoba Pork continues to process orders for ear tags. Call 204-237-7447 or use our Contact Us page.
- You can also order through the PigTRACE Canada website by logging in and selecting: > My Orders > Create an Order.
- Please allow 7-10 business days for delivery.
CQA/CPE validations during COVID-19
- Sites that were due for a Full Validation with a program expiry date on or before September 30, 2020 were automatically granted an extension to their expiry date.
- Those sites that are due for a Partial Validation (where no site visit is required) still have to abide by their normal annual expiry date. No extensions were granted for sites that are due for Partial Validations.
- Currently, the sites that are due for a Full Validation with an expiry date on or after October 1, 2020 should still plan for that date.
- For 2020, if you are due for a Full Validation and have concerns about your validator visiting your site because of COVID-19, Manitoba Pork can permit a special process for you to stay valid on the programs. However, you must contact us to arrange that before your site’s expiry date.
- For further information, contact Mark Fynn, Manager of Quality Assurance & Animal Care Programs at 204-235-2302.
Links to the latest COVID-19 information
Government of Canada (For printable resources and posters regarding human health and safety to display and distribute in your work areas, click here.)
Guidance for Employers of Temporary Foreign Workers on COVID-19 (printable PDF)
Working with animals
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are exhibiting clinical signs that could be associated with COVID-19, or are experiencing other illness such as the flu, and have contact with animals:
- Have another staff member care for the animals.
- While a recent study suggests that the virus that causes COVID-19 may have the potential to infect some types of animals, similar to what is known for SARS-CoV, there is currently no evidence that other domestic animals can be infected with COVID-19 or can be a source of infection to people. There are still many unknowns about this newly emerged coronavirus and this is an area that remains to be studied and understood.
- Those handling live animals and animal products should practice good personal hygiene, including frequent hand washing before and after touching animals and animal products. They should consider wearing protective gowns, gloves, masks while professionally handling animals and fresh animal products.
- Equipment and working stations should be disinfected frequently, at least once a day.
- Protective clothing should be removed after work and washed daily. Workers should avoid exposing family members to soiled work clothing, shoes, or other items that may have come into contact with potentially contaminated material. It is therefore recommended that protective clothes and items remain at the workplace for daily washing.
- Click here to read and print KAP's Best Practices for On-farm Sanitation.
Quick facts (as of May 26, 2020)
Will processing plants continue to operate in Manitoba and Canada?
- The federal and provincial governments have stressed the importance of maintaining Canada’s food supply. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Manitoba Pork has participated in ongoing discussions between our processing partners and provincial and federal public health officials. All parties are working towards the same goal of ensuring that the capacity of our processing plants is maintained at current levels.
Can I continue to export my hogs under current border restrictions?
- Yes. On March 18, the Government of Canada announced that the U.S.-Canada border would be closed to non-essential travel (tourism and recreation) beginning on Friday, March 20, but the movement of goods and services across the border is not limited. Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Brian Pallister have reinforced that travel restrictions and closures will not impact the flow of trade.
Will feed, livestock transport and other support services continue to operate as usual under the current restrictions?
- Companies across the sector are taking steps to reduce the risk of disease for their staff and customers. Service restrictions or limitations will be determined by each company. Some businesses many opt to close retail operations or avoid person-to-person contact. Reach out to your suppliers and service providers to discuss your options.
Will financial support be available to farms/ businesses impacted by the outbreak?
- On March 18, the Government of Canada introduced $27 billion in direct support for Canadian workers and businesses, along with $55 billion in tax deferrals in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. On May 5, the Government of Canada announced an additional $252 million to support farmers, food businesses and food processors. Manitoba Pork will continue to work with our sector and government partners to understand how these programs could best benefit the hog sector.
- Among the highlights of the announcement: Eligible small businesses will be able to access a temporary wage subsidy for 10% of payroll for three months, in order to prevent lay-offs, and the near-term credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector will be increased through Farm Credit Canada.
- Major Canadian banks have also introduced new programs that may allow deferral of mortgage payments and flexibility in lending agreements. Click here to see the Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan for business.
- Producers are encouraged to contact their financial advisors for information on how the support programs may be of assistance to their operations.
What happens if illness on-farm prevents me from being able to care for my animals?
- Some companies supporting the hog sector have teams or resources available to help barns operate in times of crisis. Given the extent of the COVID-19 situation, these resources may be limited. If you need help, reach out to suppliers, or contact Manitoba Pork for more information (204-237-7447 or Contact Us).
What other supports are available for our sector?