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NW Man. abattoir funded for SRM incinerator

A northwestern Manitoba meat plant has picked up public funding for a new incinerator to destroy higher-risk byproducts from its own slaughterhouse and others in the area.

A 60/40 cost-shared contribution of $360,810 was pledged Friday from a federal/provincial specified risk material (SRM) disposal funding program for Berscheid Meats at The Pas, Man. to install the incinerator and related handling equipment.

Berscheid, which slaughters and processes beef, pork, sheep, goat, bison, emu and other livestock at its provincially-inspected facility north of town, will put up 25 per cent of the total project cost, the governments said.

The facility and equipment “provide for a long-term economically viable solution for the disposal of SRM within the region,” company president Jim Berscheid said in the governments’ release Friday. “This equipment operates in excess of 850°C, providing a clean disposal method for solid waste.”

SRMs are the nervous system parts and tissues known to harbour the misfolded proteins, or prions, that cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in infected cattle.

“Not only will this system reduce the amount of animal/organic matter that would normally arrive at the local landfill, but this proactive initiative will also help with any future needs for the disposal of animals that could be required due to disease or market interruptions,” provincial Entrepreneurship and Trade Minister Peter Bjornson said in the release.

The Canada/Manitoba SRM program, budgeted for $6.5 million in all, is meant to help the province’s processors, farms, veterinary clinics, other businesses and communities dispose of SRMs that are required to be removed and eliminated from all food, feed and fertilizer processing chains.

And in this case, “producers and processors in The Pas are working hard to reinvigorate their businesses following a number of difficult years,” southeastern Manitoba MP and federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said in the release.

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