Closures at meatpacking plants due to outbreaks of Covid-19 have sent shockwaves through the livestock industry. With thousands of confirmed cases among plant workers and operations stuttering across the country, the backlog of animals awaiting slaughter is growing and farmers are running out of options. The bottleneck promises to have long-term consequences for American ranchers and is injecting new urgency into calls for relaxing federal regulations that limit small farmers’ access to livestock processing.(No paywall)
In a new lawsuit, environmental advocates say a Colorado beef-packing plant owned by JBS has been dumping polluted wastewater into a river for years. The suit comes as the Brazilian company is under fire for taking millions in President Trump's tariff bailout payments. (No paywall)
The meatpacking industry is famed for using all parts of the animal except the oink or the moo. Even by that standard, a tiny Canadian pharmaceutical company, BLES Biochemicals, does the industry one better, by collecting an off-white foam — a pulmonary surfactant — from the lungs of cattle at a slaughterhouse for eventual use in helping premature babies breathe, reports Stat, the medical news site.
Republican lawmakers and the chicken industry "are aggressively lobbying to speed up" inspection lines, now limited to 140 birds per minute, at poultry slaughter and processing plants, says NBC News. The trade group National Chicken Council has petitioned USDA to allow plants participating in a new inspection system to operate "at any line speed" they can handle.
Students at Colorado State University have started a petition drive because of plans to " build a new facility that houses a meat harvesting facility, which some students call a slaughterhouse," says the Rocky Mountain Collegian. The facility is part of a partnership with JBS USA, part of the giant meatpacking company based in Brazil.
"Farmers across Alaska are fighting to keep a state-run slaughterhouse from closing its doors," reports KTUU-TV in Anchorage. Mt. McKinley Meats and Sausage, one of only three meat-processing plants in Alaska, operates with a workforce from the state prison system.