Dr Temple Grandin: "Covid-19 was a disaster for the pork industry"

 

Treena Hein, Pig Progress

Sep 8, 2021    

 

“From both a sustainability and animal welfare standpoint, Covid-19 was a disaster for the US pork industry.” That is the conclusion of Dr Temple Grandin, professor in the department of animal science at Colorado State University, in a new research paper in which she does not mince words.

 

Dr Grandin asserts that programmes must be put in place so that what happened in 2020 in the US – when large numbers of healthy pigs were destroyed on-farm because of severely curtailed slaughter plant capacity – never happens again. Massive capacity reductions were caused by physical distancing requirements and by temporary plant shutdowns to stop Covid-19 transmission, worker illness and death. The situation was exacerbated because US pig production had grown to address the import needs of China, where African Swine Fever had ravaged the commercial pig population from 2018.

 

Waste of food

 

“It was a complete mess, a terrible mess in terms of animal welfare,” Dr Grandin says, “and it was a horrible waste of food. There were food kitchens begging for food and we sent pigs to the dump.” It is estimated that about 350,000 pigs were euthanised on US farms in 2020.

 

Beef and poultry industries less affected

 

In comparison, the US beef and poultry industries were less affected by the pandemic, notes Dr Grandin, because it is easier to slow the growth of beef cattle, and chickens have a shorter life cycle. Dairy sectors in the US (and in other countries such as Canada) also had to dump milk in the early days of the pandemic because milk could not be exported to Mexico as usual.

 

Euthanasia ...

 

Video audits should never replace in-person audits ...

 

Prototype portable stunning system ...

 

Proactive euthanasia solutions ...

 

Preventing on-farm euthanasia ...

 

Planning at regional level ...

 

Smaller plants ...

 

more

https://www.pigprogress.net/World-of-Pigs1/Articles/2021/9/Dr-Temple-Grandin-Covid-19-was-a-disaster-for-the-pork-industry-790026E/