Grassley, Smith lead letter supporting USDA hog indemnity program
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., led a bipartisan Senate letter today urging congressional leaders to support Agriculture Department funding to make payments to pork producers forced to depopulate herds due to closures of processing plants because of COVID-19 infections.
“The crisis is immediate. Pork producers send to market over 2 million pigs each week,” the senators wrote.
“If 20% of processing is idle, that means somewhere around 400,000 animals per week must be disposed of in some manner other than processing. Accordingly, government support is needed in the management of a sensible depopulation of the herd until plant operations stabilize.”
The National Pork Producers Council has sent Congress a fact sheet on hog euthanasia when processing plants are closed because of COVID-19 infections. The report can be read at http://nppc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/euthanasia-fact-sheet-FINAL-5-8-20.pdf.
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Hudspeth County, Texas — In the fall of 2019, ranch hands were gathering a bull when they noticed something out of place. One of their employer’s cows was freshly branded, with someone else’s brand.