Bipartisan senators seek funding for pork producers forced to euthanize livestock

Bipartisan senators seek funding for pork producers forced to euthanize livestock
© Getty Images

Several bipartisan senators are calling on Congress to provide additional funding to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help pork producers forced to depopulate livestock while restaurants, schools and other venues are closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

The senators said that pork producers normally send 2 million pigs to market a week but, with 20 percent of the market closed due to stay-at-home orders, around 400,000 animals per week must be disposed of in some manner other than processing.

“Given these significant social and economic consequences, we must prioritize funding in the next coronavirus response package to include indemnifying producers who are depopulating herds due to processing plant closures. Assistance is needed for humane euthanization and disposal which will require the coordination of the human, animal, and environmental health communities,” Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power The Hill's 12:30 Report: Ginsburg lies in repose Top GOP senators say Hunter Biden's work 'cast a shadow' over Obama Ukraine policy MORE (R-Iowa), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Feinstein 'surprised and taken aback' by suggestion she's not up for Supreme Court fight Grand jury charges no officers in Breonna Taylor death MORE (D-Ill.), and others wrote to congressional leadership on Monday.

ADVERTISEMENT

The senators also noted that processing plants are closing due to coronavirus outbreaks, curtailing production of products, and won’t reopen until companies improve safety measures. Smithfield, the world’s biggest pork processor, closed a South Dakota plant that accounts for up to 5 percent of the U.S. pork production, for over two weeks. It has since reopened.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerduePerdue has found the right path in National Forests Democrats seek clarity on payroll tax deferral for federal workers USDA extending free meals for kids through end of the year if funding allows after criticism MORE last week predicted that U.S. meatpacking plants will fully reopen in the next seven to 10 days, following President TrumpDonald John TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance MORE’s executive order requiring processing plants to stay open.

“The downstream impact of idled plants is full farms, creating an animal welfare crisis due to overcrowding and the challenge of providing enough feed and water available to each animal,” the senators wrote. 

Sens. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Trump faces tricky choice on Supreme Court pick FBI director warns that Chinese hackers are still targeting US COVID-19 research MORE (R-Mo.), Tina SmithTina Flint SmithThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power Credit union group to spend million on Senate, House races Health officials tell public to trust in science MORE (D-Minn.), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstTillis appears to reinforce question about COVID-19 death toll The power of incumbency: How Trump is using the Oval Office to win reelection Poll: Trump opens up 6-point lead over Biden in Iowa MORE (R-Iowa), John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenDavis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Bottom line Bipartisan senators seek funding for pork producers forced to euthanize livestock MORE (R-N.D.), Amy KlobucharAmy Klobuchar3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Social media platforms put muscle into National Voter Registration Day Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight MORE (D-Minn.), Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerHillicon Valley: Election officials prepare for new Russian interference battle | 'Markeyverse' of online fans helps take down a Kennedy | GOP senators unveil bill to update tech liability protections Google, Apple, eBay to meet virtually with lawmakers for tech group's annual fly-in Congress botched the CFPB's leadership — here's how to fix it MORE (R-Neb.), Gary PetersGary Charles PetersHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Postmaster general says postal service can't return mail-sorting machines The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power MORE (D-Mich.), Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungSenate GOP eyes early exit Why the US should rely more on strategy, not sanctions Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump MORE (R-Ind.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Democratic senators ask inspector general to investigate IRS use of location tracking service MORE (D-Ore.), Mike RoundsMarion (Mike) Michael RoundsDemocrats call for declassifying election threats after briefing by Trump officials The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - GOP closes ranks to fill SCOTUS vacancy by November Senate GOP sees early Supreme Court vote as political booster shot MORE (R-S.D.), Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseMcEnany says Trump will accept result of 'free and fair election' McConnell pushes back on Trump: 'There will be an orderly transition' Trump says he'll sign order aimed at protecting premature babies in appeal to religious voters MORE (R-Neb.) and Kevin CramerKevin John CramerAbortion stirs GOP tensions in Supreme Court fight Momentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day On Paycheck Protection Program, streamlined forgiveness is key MORE (R-N.D.) also signed the letter.