The US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Antitrust Division has provided guidance for collaboration among US hog farmers to effectively address unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision was in response to a “business review” letter submitted to DOJ by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) seeking permission to give hog farmers greater flexibility in working to maximize the number of hogs entering the food supply, minimize the tragic need to euthanize hogs and facilitate the safe and orderly euthanasia of those hogs that are not able to enter the food supply.
COVID-19-related pork packing plant closures and slowdowns have caused a severe backup of pigs on farms. Overcrowding affects pigs’ ability to rest comfortably and may result in aggression and injuries. It also makes it a challenge to maintain air quality and temperatures that keep animals comfortable. To prevent animal suffering, farmers are being forced to euthanize animals.
“Our goal is to efficiently process as many hogs as possible into the food supply,” said NPPC president Howard “AV” Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin. “Appropriate collaboration across the industry and with state and federal government officials will minimize the number of pigs that must be euthanized and ensure that it is handled humanely and that disposal is environmentally sound.”
Full Content: DOJ
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