GFM Network News


File photo of a farmed mink. (Konstantin Sokolov/iStock/Getty Images)

Canada’s mink farms brace for COVID

Producers have had time to increase biosecurity efforts at the farm level

Canada’s 40 mink farms are operating under heightened biosecurity requirements after reports of COVID-19 jumping from humans to mink in Europe. Alan Herscovici, an industry spokesperson who operates the website Truthaboutfur.com, said early reports out of Denmark and other European countries gave Canadian producers some time to prepare. “These farms have always had a certain […] Read more

Cattle producers are familiar with mitigating risk when it comes to infectious diseases.

Cattle sector knows about learning and adapting

Infectious disease is a constant risk on ranches and feedlots, and we know how to reduce the threat

Reading Time: 3 minutes The COVID-19 outbreak gives us time to reflect on how we do things with our livestock. Cattle producers are in the unique situation in the sense we all know about infectious disease — and mitigating risk. From now on, it won’t be as hard to explain to people how we don’t want visitors, especially around […] Read more


File photo of hogs in transit near Red Deer, Alta. (Stefonlinton/iStock/Getty Images)

Canada’s pork sector up to speed, aware of challenges

Processing plants enhancing biosecurity; producers being urged to watch their stress levels

They’re adding protective plexiglass shields, bringing in trailers to separate groups of workers, and boosting communication on biosecurity. It’s all part of an ongoing effort to ensure pork processing plants aren’t disrupted by COVID-19. “I’m very impressed by our packers, and for the workers for coming to work every day and being there and realizing […] Read more

Livestock or pets not considered a risk for COVID-19

Livestock or pets not considered a risk for COVID-19

Reading Time: < 1 minute There is currently no evidence that animals become sick with COVID-19 or spread the infection. Imports and exports of plants and animals to and from Canada are not currently affected. However, the CFIA will take any necessary action to protect the safety of Canada’s plants and animals. (Updates will be posted at inspection.gc.ca) There have […] Read more


Commonly used surfaces, such as truck door handles, should be cleaned more often. (Kali9/E+/Getty Images)

Take extra steps to keep farm workers safe during COVID-19

Add biosecurity practices, or ramp up the ones you already employ

Farmers concerned about the spread of COVID-19 can learn from the hog sector on the matter of protecting themselves and their workers, says a leading expert on biosecurity in the pork industry. “This is the world of biosecurity that the swine industry deals with on a daily basis,” said Dr. Egan Brockhoff, veterinarian counsellor for […] Read more



(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Ontario offers cash for abattoir upgrades

Applications now being accepted through April

Ontario’s 123 provincially-licensed abattoirs can now start applying for a piece of $2 million in federal/provincial funding to step up food safety, biosecurity and animal welfare measures. The Ontario and federal governments on Wednesday announced applications for cost-share funding can be submitted between now and April 30, “as long as funding for the initiative is […] Read more

Hogs on a stock trailer bound for a Toronto packing plant accept drinks from Toronto Pig Save members in 2013. (Screengrab of Toronto Pig Save video via YouTube)

Ontario draws new legal lines against on-farm trespass

Ontario has introduced a legislative package setting up new legal boundaries around livestock in that province, whether on farms or in transit. The Security From Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, introduced Monday by Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman, is expected to “address the unique risks and challenges associated with trespass onto a farm or into […] Read more


Alberta Premier Jason Kenney steps up to speak at Jumbo Valley Hutterite Colony on Oct. 3, 2019. (Video screengrab from Alberta.ca via YouTube)

Alberta proposes heavier penalties for on-farm trespassing

Alberta’s government proposes to discourage future on-farm protests — events in the style of an occupation held early last month at an Alberta Hutterite colony’s turkey farm — on pain of new penalties. Speaking Thursday at the Jumbo Valley colony near Fort Macleod, Premier Jason Kenney, Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer and Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen […] Read more