April 30, 2020
JBS reopens Minnesota pork plant to euthanise swine, not produce meat
Up to 13,000 swine are being euthanised in the plant for farmers, as the company denies that the plant has been reopened to produce pork for consumers, reported Reuters.
Farmers in the United States have been forced to cull livestock as there is insufficient space to store a backlog of animals after many slaughterhouses closed down because of COVID-19.
For the humane euthanasia of swine, JBS said it only needs up to 20 workers out of its 2,000 workers from the Worthington, Minnesota plant. The plant was closed on April 20, 2020.
US President Donald Trump recently announced an executive order to keep meat plants open during the COVID-19 pandemic to safeguard the country's food supplies.
A statement from JBS USA said producers are left with no choice but to dispose of livestock because of plant shutdowns and reduced production levels.
Following the presidential order, Smithfield Foods said it may reopen its closed plants. Tyson Foods said it will work with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Meat plant worker unions have urged major meat companies to supply its workers with protective equipment and conduct regular COVID-19 tests. Workers should also practice social distancing.