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Agriculture

Firefighters from six communities battle Manitoba dairy barn fire

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dairy barn fire

STEINBACH, Man. — Hundreds of cattle have been killed in a fire that destroyed a large dairy complex in southeastern Manitoba.

The fire broke out sometime before 5 a.m. Monday at the four-barn Pennwood Dairy, northeast of Steinbach.

Kelvin Toews, the community’s fire chief, said there were about 1,000 animals in the barns and about 200 survived.

“It’s a loss of around 800 (cattle). It’s a shame there were animals in the barn. We lost a bunch,” said Toews.

The fire chief said three barns were on fire when crews arrived and the fourth was in flames soon after.

He said an unknown number of people were involved in milking operations in the buildings at the time, but they all got out safely.

Crews from six fire departments fought for hours to control the flames that belched clouds of thick, black smoke across a wide area.

The fire is believed to have started in one of the four metal-clad buildings that were linked to each other.

A damage estimate was not immediately available and investigators from the provincial fire commissioner’s office arrived at the scene later Monday.

Toews said emergency crews would probably be at the scene most of the day for mop-up purposes.

“It’s a tin barn so we have to peel it back and get to the fire. There’s some silage piles on fire, too.”

The fire came as Pennwood Dairy was preparing to expand its herd to about 1,700 cattle. (CHSM)

The Canadian Press

Agriculture

Turkeys avoid dinner plate at Thanksgiving meal in Aldergrove, B.C.

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ALDERGROVE, B.C. — Two lucky turkeys are spending Thanksgiving dinner at the table instead of on the table in Aldergrove, B.C.

The Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary, a home for abused or at-risk farm animals, planned to host a vegan potluck dinner Sunday.

The guests of honour are resident turkeys Mo and Leonard.

The sanctuary says in a statement that 20 million turkeys are killed for food each year in Canada and it believes the animals deserve better.

It describes Mo and Leonard as social, sensitive and curious animals who always follow visitors around.

The sanctuary adds that Mo loves attention and when he’s happy, his neck changes from blue to red in a few minutes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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Agriculture

Alberta charges village with improper use of strong poison strychnine

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CEREAL, Alta. — The government has charged a community in southeastern Alberta with improper use of pesticides, including the strong poison strychnine.

The province says the Village of Cereal faces 12 charges under environmental protection laws and pesticide regulations.

It says the village foreman and the caretaker of the village campground also face the charges that stem from June 2017.

They include releasing substances that may cause a significant adverse effect and applying pesticides without proper approval and qualifications.  

Details of what happened are not immediately available.

Strychnine can have severe adverse health effects in people, including death, and Health Canada has been proposing to ban the use of the poison to control gophers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 11, 2019.

 

 

 

The Canadian Press

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