logo
Archive

Jbs Euthanize Hogs

author
Daniel Brown
• Monday, 08 March, 2021
• 8 min read

The JBS Worthington pork production facility voluntarily suspended operations on April 20 in an effort to combat the community spread of coronavirus in Nobles County. The company’s aggressive actions meet and exceed the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

cases covid deaths mn 4k latest total graph county jbs worthington plant graphic positive number showing
(Source: www.boreal.org)

Contents

Temperature testing all team members prior to entering facilities, including the use of hands-free thermometers and thermal imaging testing technology; Providing extra personal protective equipment (PPE) to all team members, including protective masks, which are required to be worn at all times; Promoting physical distancing where possible by staggering starts, shifts and breaks; increasing spacing in cafeterias, break and locker rooms; and erecting physical barriers, including plexiglass dividers in key production areas; Increasing sanitation and disinfection efforts, including whole facility deep-cleaning every day; Hiring dedicated staff whose only job is to continuously clean the facility, including common areas beyond the production floor; Removing vulnerable populations, offering full pay and benefits; Requiring sick team members to stay home from work; Waiving short-term disability waiting periods; Relaxing attendance policies, so people don’t come to work sick; Providing free 100% preventive care to all team members enrolled in the company’s health plan; Offering free Telehealth Online services, which allow for virtual doctor visits at no cost, for team members enrolled in the company’s health plan; Educating and encouraging team members to practice social distancing at home and in the community outside of work; and Restricting access to facilities and not allowing visitors. The shutdown or slowdown of several big processing plants means that millions of hogs are backing up on farms without enough food or space to care for them.

His co-op has already had to euthanize about 2,000 animals, and he may have to destroy thousands more in just over a week if he's unable to deliver his pigs to a processor. Hog farmer Mike Patterson's animals, who have been put on a diet, so they take longer to fatten up due to the supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19 outbreaks, at his property in Kenyon, Minnesota, on April 23, 2021.

Them Peterson, Minnesota's commissioner of agriculture, estimates that as many as 10,000 hogs a day are being put down in his state. The Worthington plant operated for a week with a small staff, euthanizing 3,000 hogs a day.

In Iowa, where 30% of the nation’s hogs are raised, DAL Grooms of the Iowa Pork Producers' Association, said a deadline is looming for farmers unable to get their market-ready hogs to processors: “We think by end of the week, it will get more dire and people will have to make critical decisions than.” By the end of September, “it could be 10 to 15 million animals that have to be euthanized,” said Mark Greenwood, an analyst with Compeer Financial, an agricultural-lending company.

Patterson said he's frequently asked why he and other producers can't simply donate their oversupply of hogs to the needy. While cattle producers are also affected by the COVID-related stall at meat processing plants, they do not face the urgency that worries those who raise hogs.

covid cases deaths mn 4k total latest slowed logistical increase testing issues nobles county
(Source: www.boreal.org)

There's a lot more flexibility in a processing line for cattle than there is for hog production,” John Robinson of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association explained. Hog farmer Mike Patterson, who has put his animals on a diet, so they take longer to fatten up due to the supply chain disruptions caused by coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreaks, walks through one of his barns at his property in Kenyon, Minnesota, April 23, 2021.

Poultry farmers are familiar with the problems facing hog producers as they have had to euthanize millions of birds. And aside from the longer time needed for raising hogs, there's also a different and complicated challenge that comes with euthanizing and disposing of animals weighing about 300 pounds each.

But they are not running at full capacity and farmers say they won't be in time to catch up to the enormous oversupply of animals. Roth breeds pigs in Nausea, Wisconsin, and is president of the National Pork Producers Council.

For smaller producers, that decision could mean “they're going to lose their farms, because they had to euthanize their animals, all because of the COVID-19 slowdown.” The dire situation for pork producers, and the continued closure of JBS in Worthington, is leading Gov.

Tim Walz, along with U.S. Reps. Collin Peterson (DFL-District 7) and Jim Shakedown (R-District 1), to visit Worthington at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 29. Spread of the highly contagious coronavirus among JBS employees has caused the processing plant to temporarily shutter.

ag worldwide production choose destination path
(Source: solarcycle24com.proboards.com)

A four-day testing program set up last weekend in Worthington resulted in 239 positive cases among JBS more than 2,000 employees. Wiertzema, who delivered 15 loads of hogs two weeks prior to the shutdown, said he’s one of the lucky ones, at least for now.

“It’s what we have to do,” Peterson, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, said, noting that Smithfield in Sioux Falls, S.D., has declined to participate in euthanizing hogs. A portion of the carcasses will be rendered at the plant, but a larger share will be transported to landfills at sites to be determined.

As he watches hogs continue to gain weight in the barns, Bulgarian has been on the phone with legislators to express the dire situation he and fellow pork producers are in. On top of that, with so many producers looking for alternative plants to process their hogs, the packers have little to no competition in bidding.

Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Them Peterson said he remains in active discussions with Nobles County commissioners, District 22 Sen. Bill Weber (Laverne), District 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake) and other southern Minnesota leaders about the local situation with hog producers and JBS. He said there is some work on a program for pork producers at the state level, but funding has to come from the federal government.

As for Bulgarian’s request to bring in the National Guard, the AG commissioner said that has been considered. Right now, we have not activated the Guard, but it is an option if needed,” Them Peterson said, adding that Minnesota is talking with Iowa about the idea as well.

“It’s a big, important decision to activate the Guard … to put them in harm’s way,” he added. Minnesota 7th District Congressman Collin Petersen shared the news during a press conference Wednesday afternoon alongside Gov.

Tim Walz, 1st District Rep. Jim Shakedown, Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Them Peterson and Board of Animal Health State Veterinarian Beth Thompson inside a hangar at the Worthington Municipal Airport. During the nearly hour-long event, at which multiple state and regional media outlets were in attendance, Petersen said JBS was likely able to euthanize 3,000 head daily.

The company has 10 to 20 employees managing the process with federal, state and local veterinary officials. Rep. Petersen said they discussed digging 12-foot-deep trenches out by the Nobles County landfill to bury the hogs, but the high water table makes that not feasible.

“They’re spread in furrows for 60 days, and then they go out on the field as compost,” he explained, adding that the procedure has been done with large amounts of turkeys in the past. Rep. Petersen said across the country, 160,000 hogs will need to be euthanized each day until processing plants begin to reopen.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue shared with Rep. Petersen in a Wednesday morning phone call that his No. Multiple times during Wednesday’s event, both Rep. Petersen and Walk said the plant will not reopen until it's safe for employees to return to work.

Since JBS voluntarily suspended operations April 20, the company has taken numerous steps to create a safer environment for workers, including spacing out work areas and installing shields. In addition, the pork industry is built on just-in-time production, meaning that when hogs leave the farm, new piglets are scheduled to arrive in the barns within days.

For the consumer, the authorization of hogs for an undetermined amount of time will lead to shortages of pork products in the grocery stores. As for financial resources for producers who have to euthanize animals, Rep. Petersen said he has sought aid through federal programs.

Unlike the Avian Influenza that impacted Minnesota turkey growers several years ago, these hogs aren’t sick. Therefore, the program that paid turkey growers for their losses isn’t available to pork producers today.

Petersen said his office has been doing what it can at the state level for pork producers, including increasing purchases of protein for food banks, changing classifications of smaller processing plants to be able to process more hogs, and extending hours of service for livestock haulers. “No one wants to talk about humanely depopulating hogs, ” he said, adding that reopening JBS safely is the top priority.

The JBS USA pork plant in Worthington could be reopened this week, but for a limited and unusual purpose: euthanizing hogs, then disposing of the carcasses instead of processing them into meat. Meanwhile, recently posted records show that JBS would not allow Minnesota work-safety investigators inside the plant for an inspection on April 20, the day it shut down.

JBS is considering using the slaughterhouse to put down Minnesota pigs stranded in the pork supply chain due to COVID-19, three sources confirmed. The company does not need state approval to kill pigs at its site, but the Minnesota Board of Animal Health would advise JBS on proper carcass disposal, according to the Agriculture Department.

Dave Realer, head of the Minnesota Pork Producers Association, said he “wholeheartedly supports” JBS efforts. Hogs due to slaughter need to be removed from barns to make room for new crops of pigs.

JBS closed the Worthington plant on April 20 soon before the arrival of investigators from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, enforcers of the state's occupational safety and health regulations. “Prior to our investigations team's arrival at the plant, the company announced it was going to discontinue processing operations for at least two weeks,” the state Labor Department said in an e-mail.

Minnesota 7th District Congressman Collin Petersen shared the news during a press conference Wednesday afternoon alongside Gov. Tim Walz, 1st District Rep. Jim Shakedown, Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Them Peterson and Board of Animal Health State Veterinarian Beth Thompson inside a hangar at the Worthington Municipal Airport.

During the nearly hour-long event, at which multiple state and regional media outlets were in attendance, Petersen said JBS was likely able to euthanize 3,000 head daily. The company has 10 to 20 employees managing the process with federal, state and local veterinary officials.

Rep. Petersen said they discussed digging 12-foot-deep trenches out by the Nobles County landfill to bury the hogs, but the high water table makes that not feasible. “They’re spread in furrows for 60 days, and then they go out on the field as compost,” he explained, adding that the procedure has been done with large amounts of turkeys in the past.

Rep. Petersen said across the country, 160,000 hogs will need to be euthanized each day until processing plants begin to reopen. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue shared with Rep. Petersen in a Wednesday morning phone call that his No.

Multiple times during Wednesday’s event, both Rep. Petersen and Walk said the plant will not reopen until it's safe for employees to return to work. Since JBS voluntarily suspended operations April 20, the company has taken numerous steps to create a safer environment for workers, including spacing out work areas and installing shields.

In addition, the pork industry is built on just-in-time production, meaning that when hogs leave the farm, new piglets are scheduled to arrive in the barns within days. For the consumer, the authorization of hogs for an undetermined amount of time will lead to shortages of pork products in the grocery stores.

As for financial resources for producers who have to euthanize animals, Rep. Petersen said he has sought aid through federal programs. Unlike the Avian Influenza that impacted Minnesota turkey growers several years ago, these hogs aren’t sick.

Therefore, the program that paid turkey growers for their losses isn’t available to pork producers today. Petersen said his office has been doing what it can at the state level for pork producers, including increasing purchases of protein for food banks, changing classifications of smaller processing plants to be able to process more hogs, and extending hours of service for livestock haulers.

“No one wants to talk about humanely depopulating hogs, ” he said, adding that reopening JBS safely is the top priority.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In

01: Etymology For Stallion
02: Etymology For Yearling
03: Grab Rails For Outside
04: Grackle Bridle
05: Grain For Yearling Horses
06: Greenhawk Girths
07: Green Girths
08: Green Saddle Rack
09: Grennans Weanling Crunch
10: Greyhound Stud Book Australia
Sources
1 galtd.org.au - http://galtd.org.au/industry/stud-book
2 catalogue.nla.gov.au - https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/191372
3 www.ebay.com.au - https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Australian-and-New-Zealand-Greyhound-Stud-Books-/133279961086
4 catalogue.nla.gov.au - https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/166944
5 www.greyhoundsires.com.au - https://www.greyhoundsires.com.au/
6 www.greyhound.com.au - https://www.greyhound.com.au/
7 www.punters.com.au - https://www.punters.com.au/
8 www.rubberflooringaustralia.com.au - https://www.rubberflooringaustralia.com.au/resources
9 www.jackrussellterriers.com.au - http://www.jackrussellterriers.com.au/
10 m.facebook.com - https://m.facebook.com/arrowfieldstud
11 www.theguardian.com - https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/24/greyhound-racing-wimbledon-dogs-time-runs-out