U.S. Cattlemen urge USDA to keep meat plants open
The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association sent Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue a letter urging him to do all in his power to keep meat plants open amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have greatly appreciated your call to those ‘on the front lines of the American food supply’ to continue doing what they do best: producing an abundant supply of safe, nutritious, and wholesome food,” USCA President Brooke Miller wrote. “We would like to extend that message to include those who continue to do their part in meat processing facilities across the U.S.”
“According to Cassie Fish of The Beef, ‘Estimates for this week’s slaughter are 570,000 to 590,000 head, which would be the smallest non-holiday kill for this week since 2016-2017.’
“To further this point, USCA is hearing reports of plants slowing down production, or shutting down completely, due to workforce complications related to COVID-19,” the letter said.
There have been continuing reports of meat plants closing or reducing output.
The New York Times reported that a poultry worker’s death in Georgia highlighted the spread of the coronavirus among plant workers.