May 2, 2020 - Health

Pork producers ask for compensation for euthanized livestock, as coronavirus shuts processing plants

In this image, a man stands with a shopping basket in front of a meat produce aisle

A man shops the meat section of a grocery store on April 28 in Washington, DC. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Pork producers are asking the federal government to compensate them for livestock they've had to euthanize because meat processing plants are closed, CNN reports, citing the National Pork Producers Council.

The big picture: Nearly 5,000 coronavirus cases and 20 deaths have occurred in 115 meat and poultry processing facilities across the U.S., according to data released Friday from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order requiring meat processing plants to stay open under the Defense Production Act.

What they're saying: “While getting pork packing plants back online is foundational, the tragic reality is that millions of hogs can’t enter the food supply. We need a coordinated partnership between the industry and federal, state and local authorities to euthanize pigs in an orderly, ethical and safe way," Howard Roth, president of the National Pork Producers Council, said in a statement this week, following Trump's executive order.

  • Rachel Gantz, a spokesperson for the NPPC, told CNN that farmers are asking the federal government to help fund the euthanization and disposal of livestock, as well as compensation.

Go deeper: Coronavirus breaks the food supply chain

Go deeper