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Farmers Are Starting to Destroy Their Pigs After Factories Close

  • Plant shutdowns drive down farm price of hogs, create backlog
  • ‘We’re fearful the problem is going to get worse,’ farmers say
Three-week-old pigs stand in a nursery at the Paustian Enterprises farm in Walcott, Iowa, U.S.

Three-week-old pigs stand in a nursery at the Paustian Enterprises farm in Walcott, Iowa, U.S.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Updated on

A wave of shutdowns at some of North America’s largest meat plants is starting to force hog producers to dispose of their animals in the latest cruel blow to food supplies.

Shuttered or reduced processing capacity has prompted some farmers in eastern Canada to euthanize hogs that were ready for slaughter, said Rick Bergmann, chair of the Canadian Pork Council. In Minnesota, farmers may have to cull 200,000 pigs in the next few weeks, according to an industry association. Carcasses are typically buried or rendered.