As Reports of Hogs Being Killed Surface, USDA Establishing a National Incident Coordination Center to Help Pork Producers Deal wtih OversupplyFri, 24 Apr 2020 21:52:42 CDT
On Friday afternoon, the US Department of Agriculture's APHIS announced the establishment of what they are calling a National Incident Coordination Center. The Government is signaling that they are looking for ways to help livestock and poultry producers find alternative markets if the processing plant they normally use is incapable of accepting their animals because of a COVID- 19 disruption. If no alternative market is available- the USDA says they will help on the issues surrounding depopulation and disposal.
Apparently we have reached that point of depopulation- From Twitter user @nrdoz tweets "3,000 head of market ready hogs shot and buried by a larger producer...from a very reliable source...unreal" and then later sends out "Two friends confirmed Christensen Farms will euthanize 12,000 head of market ready hogs in renville county shortly...I'm not sure what to add here...the more this news spreads, perhaps a less barbaric and wasteful solution will be expedited." Christensen Farms is in Minnesota- near Redwood Falls and New Ulm.
Here is the statement from the USDA website:
"American livestock and poultry producers are facing an unprecedented emergency due to COVID-19, particularly with the closing of meat processing plants in several states. USDA is leading the federal response by working in coordination with the Vice President’s Task Force, the CDC, OSHA, Department of Labor, industry, state and local governments, and others across the federal family to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on producers. We will continue to seek solutions to ensure the continuity of operations and return to production as quickly, safely and as health considerations allow at these critical facilities.
"While this work continues, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is establishing a National Incident Coordination Center to provide direct support to producers whose animals cannot move to market as a result of processing plant closures due to COVID-19. Going forward, APHIS’ Coordination Center, State Veterinarians, and other state officials will be assisting to help identify potential alternative markets if a producer is unable to move animals, and if necessary, advise and assist on depopulation and disposal methods.
"Additionally, APHIS will mobilize and deploy assets of the National Veterinary Stockpile as needed and secure the services of contractors that can supply additional equipment, personnel, and services, much as it did during the large-scale Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza emergency in 2015.
"Additionally, the USDA’s Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) will be providing state level technical assistance to producers and will provide cost share assistance under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) in line with program guidelines for disposal."
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