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Carnism

May 27, 2020 - One Green Planet

Coronavirus-Related Mass Killing of Millions of Commercial Raised Animals is Proof that It’s Time to End Factory Farming

Coronavirus-Related Mass Killing of Millions of Commercial Raised Animals is Proof that It’s Time to End Factory Farming
Beef Feedlot, AustraliaFile Photo / © Photabulous!

The closures, cutbacks and now reopening of several large slaughterhouses in Delaware and around the country, in response to COVID-19 infections among their vulnerable workforce, has provoked a tragic but now familiar response to crises within the animal agriculture industry: the mass killing of farmed animals who producers are suddenly unable to send to slaughter.

On April 8, Delaware-based chicken company Allen Harim wrote to its growers that, because of the coronavirus-related slowdown at its slaughter and processing facilities, for the next six weeks it would be "depopulating" its flocks, a euphemism for mass killings.

The company promised to compensate growers for the flocks it would kill. And in response to the indefinite closure of a massive Smithfield pig slaughterhouse in Sioux Falls, South Dakota—a location that, within the span of a few days, became the number one COVID-19 infection hotspot in the country—producers and industry voices warned that farmers would face “difficult choices,” and would need to kill their herds of pigs.

As more pig slaughterhouse closures were announced, pork industry leaders acknowledged producers would need to kill thousands of pigs—fast.

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