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Meat-Inspector Furloughs Seen by USDA as Several Months Away

Furloughs of inspectors at meatpacking plants under mandated U.S. budget cuts will take “several months” to implement as workers have to be notified ahead of time, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is sending out notices to union representatives this week that furloughs are possible, Vilsack said today at a hearing of the House Agriculture Committee. Meatpacking plants can’t operate without a USDA inspector present, so keeping facilities open will be a challenge, he said.