State and federal officials have killed tens of thousands of broiler chickens and turkeys on poultry farms in Indiana and Kentucky, and backyard flocks in three other states, while fighting outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). They are the first cases of the viral disease, which can quickly wipe out flocks, among domestic flocks in two years.
Livestock processing plants "may act as transmission vectors" for spreading the coronavirus, said researchers who estimated the plants were associated with from 6 to 8 percent of Covid-19 cases nationwide during the early months of the pandemic. "Ensuring both public health and robust essential supply chains may require an increase in meatpacking oversight and potentially a shift toward more decentralized, smaller-scale meat production," said the researchers in a paper appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
While red meat production fell by nearly one-fourth during April, poultry slaughter dropped by a much smaller 8 percent, said the USDA's monthly Poultry Slaughter report. Production of chicken, turkey, duck and other poultry meat totaled 4.09 billion pounds for the month, compared to 4.43 billion pounds in March. (No paywall)
Despite a surge in sales of plant-based faux meat, Americans are consuming record amounts of meat and at the moment, poultry is driving the increase. Per-capita consumption will climb to 225.6 pounds in 2020, the highest total ever, with poultry accounting for half of it, according to the …
As Nebraska's brand-new Costco chicken processing plant begins sending birds down the line, residents are escalating their protest against the company by pushing for a statewide moratorium on new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).(No paywall)
The arrival of a Costco chicken processing plant in Fremont, Nebraska, spurred the introduction of the state’s first industrial chicken farms in 2018. With the plant set to begin operations after Labor Day, some residents are pushing for stronger — or any — oversight of large poultry farms in the state.(No paywall)
North Carolina has been grappling for years with the enormous quantity of waste produced by its hog farms. But the state has more than twice as many poultry farms, and the state must consider the impact of poultry waste when thinking about how to regulate the agriculture industry, says a new report from the Environmental Working Group.
To cut antibiotics use in poultry production, large-scale producers are turning to slower-growing heritage chicken breeds, reports Maryn McKenna, in FERN's latest story with EatingWell magazine. It marks a reversal of the recent production model, which emphasized fast-growing birds.
On Wednesday, a Delaware community near a Mountaire poultry processing plant gave the company notice that in 90 days it would sue the plant for polluting its drinking water.
Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer last Tuesday signed into law a controversial bill that will amend the state’s regulatory requirements for poultry confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), local media reported. The bill was dubbed the “Tyson bill,” for its favorability to the large poultry processor who has attempted multiple times to set up a processing plant in the state.
Sen. Cory Booker introduced legislation yesterday that would require more transparency and oversight of how poultry loans are allocated by the Small Business Administration. The proposal comes just a week after a report from the Office of the Inspector General questioned nearly $2 billion in loans from the SBA to poultry farmers. (No paywall)
In a report released on March 6, the Office of the Inspector General found that some poultry farmers who had received SBA loans were actually ineligible, because poultry companies “exercised such comprehensive control over the growers” that farmers were not, in fact, operating as independent small business owners. (No paywall)
After two years of community protests, a proposal to build 13 chicken houses on a farm in Wicomico County, Maryland, was defeated last week. Neighbors worried about potential air and groundwater pollution from the influx of chickens.
Top U.S. poultry processors are planning to expand production this year, reports Bloomberg. As prices for feed grains have plummeted, worrying farmers, processors are taking advantage of the lower costs.
The biggest poultry processors in the United States face widespread allegations that they colluded to raise prices over the course of 10 years in the $30-billion broiler chicken market. In just three weeks, two grocery retailers and the country’s two biggest food distribution companies filed lawsuits against Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms, Pilgrim’s Pride, Koch Farms, Sanderson Farms, and others. (No paywall)
Last fall, a small community in northeast Kansas made headlines when thousands of residents protested the announcement that a Tyson poultry processing plant would soon be built nearby. Once the residents of Tonganoxie won their “No Tyson in Tongie” campaign, other communities followed suit. Now, state lawmakers have introduced a bill that would make it easier for communities to vote on whether to introduce new poultry processing facilities or large-scale farms in their communities, reports High Plains Public Radio.
The USDA forecasts Americans will eat a record amount of red meat and poultry this year — an average of 222.8 pounds per person. At the same time, “the mix of meats ... has shifted dramatically, with the share of beef declining” by one-third since peaking in the 1970s.
Two grocers last week filed a price-fixing lawsuit against the country’s top poultry processors. The suit alleges that the processors, including Tyson Foods, Koch Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, and Perdue Farms, have conspired to fix the price of broiler chickens over the course of several decades.
McDonald’s will now require chicken suppliers, including Tyson and Cargill, to treat animals more humanely at slaughter. “Birds sold to the chain ... no longer will be shocked, shackled by the feet to conveyors and have their throats slit ...,” says The Los Angeles Times. “Such methods can leave chickens fully conscious when they are slaughtered.”