OTTAWA, ONTARIO — The Canadian government is extending financial aid for hog farmers who have downsized herds to cope with tough economic times. Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced the time period covered by the Cull Breeding Swine Program has been extended, which will provide producers of breeding swine additional assistance.

"This government continues to work with Canadian pork producers to make sure they can weather this global economic storm," Mr. Ritz said. "Some pork producers made tough business decisions to reduce their herds before this program started. We're changing the program to make sure those producers get the support they deserve."

In February 2008, the $50 million Cull Breeding Swine Program was announced with the objective of reducing the national breeding herd size by up to 10%.

Claims for culled breeding swine were originally covered between Nov. 1, 2007 and Nov. 30, 2008. The initial date has now been changed to include breeding swine culled between Aug. 1, 2007 and Oct. 31, 2007. Producers have until June 30 to make claims for breeding swine culled during this period. The Canadian Pork Council sponsors the program.

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