The Canadian Pork Council represents 7,000 commercial pork producers in Canada who are members of provincial associations, but recognizes that there are many more people who own and take care of pigs.
People who raise and take care of pigs are passionate about what they do, whether they do it on a large or small scale, for commercial purposes, or for their own pleasure. The way we do things may vary, but we believe everyone who cares about pigs raises them to the very best of their knowledge and ability.
Canadian pork producers represented by the Canadian Pork Council rely on the Canadian Pork Excellence programs and the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs for guidance and directions. They also follow national traceability requirements.
Of course, these programs may not fully apply to every pig owner’s reality. Some provinces, and sometimes municipalities, have additional or different guidelines or laws to follow.
The following resources might help new, and even experienced pig owners gain knowledge about pig ownership, taking care of pigs and best practices to ensure their health and welfare.
- BC Pork has produced a very extensive small lot pork production manual. Included is basic information on housing, management, nutrition/feeding and health, along with what you need to know for slaughter time and PigTrace, Canada’s national hog traceability program. http://www.bcpork.ca/small-lot-pork-producers/ (2020)
- Alberta Pork has a small-scale production webpage, handbook and leaflet that covers, housing, feed and water, biosecurity, handling and common swine diseases. https://www.albertapork.com/our-producer-services/quality-assurance-and-animal-care/small-scale-production/
- Sask Pork has released their Guide to Small Scale Pig Production for Saskatchewan Farms: https://www.saskpork.com/small-scale-production (2020)
- Ontario Pork has compiled a how-to guide to help small-scale producers or hobby farmers rearing pigs in Ontario. This guide is intended for those raising weaned pigs through growing and finishing to slaughter weight, but does not contain information on the management of sows, breeding or farrowing. https://www.ontariopork.on.ca/producers/small (2019)
- Pork Nova Scotia has published an Intro to Small Scale Pig Production that inspired other resources on this page. http://porknovascotia.ca/small-scale/
Commercial pork producers are particularly concerned about the spread of pig diseases. Good biosecurity protects the entire pig population in Canada. Please ensure you follow good biosecurity practises, build strong fences to keep your pigs from escaping and keep wild pigs away from your pigs, and never feed them anything that has been in contact with meat or meat products.
Tagging pigs and reporting their movements is mandatory in Canada.