The government offered to help livestock producers locate contractors skilled in killing herds or flocks of animals and to provide cost-share funding for their disposal because the coronavirus pandemic has shut down packing plants and reduced consumer demand. The National Pork Board held a webinar on Sunday that discussed step by step "emergency depopulation and disposal" of hogs.(No paywall)
More than two dozen workers at a Tyson Foods pork plant were stricken with Covid-19, forcing the meatpacker to suspend operations at its mammoth plant in Columbus Junction in southeastern Iowa, the No. 1 hog state. Tyson Foods announced the shut-down on Monday as the coronavirus spread further …
Last week, several Midwestern feedlot owners along with the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF) filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that dominant meatpackers conspired to depress cattle prices starting in 2015. The case argues that JBS, Tyson, Cargill, and National Beef strategically cut back on open market cattle bids, closed plants, and imported costly foreign cattle in order to force farmers to accept lower prices and manipulate spot market cattle values.(No paywall)
In December 2006, Immigration and Customs Enforcement carried out the largest workplace raid in history. They arrested over 1,300 workers in six states, including 300 from Cactus, Texas, a small town with just over 3,000 residents. The Cactus workers were picked up from a meatpacking plant, then owned by Swift & Co. before it was acquired by JBS in 2007.
Some workers at U.S. packing plants pay a high price for their jobs, says Harvest Public Media in a three-part series that starts today with new installments through Thursday. "Employees aren't cattle going through the chutes," the widow of one worker tells HPM. "They're people with families."
In Fort Morgan, Colorado 130 former employees at a Cargill meatpacking plant are suing the company for religious discrimination, says The New York Times.