Minnesota farmers will soon have to kill and dispose of 200,000 pigs.
Minnesota farmer Paul Fitzsimmons recently published a now-viral Facebook post about the devastating effects from the COVID-19 shutdown.
The oncoming wave of Minnesotan euthanasias is part of a nationwide trend of livestock liquidation as after COVID-19 related shutdowns have shuttered processing facilities, according to Minnesota Congressman and House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson.
Farms must now waste 60,000-70,000 pigs every day in order to make space for future generations of swine in their farms, Peterson says, per CNN’s Senior Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju.
Peterson said that farmers now have a massive oversupply of pigs that must be euthanized, estimating that there are roughly 60,000-70,000 pigs a day that need to be killed in order to make space at farms. But he said that has created a logistical nightmare for farmers
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) April 27, 2020
Peterson also told Raju that he fears an incoming pork shortage. “I think you are going to see some grocery stores have shortages of pork next week,” Peterson said, per Raju’s Twitter account. If plants stay closed, America “can end up running out of pork completely,” the AG Chair concludes.
Minnesotan hog farmers alone may have to discard 200,000 pigs per the MinnPost. This is both a “logistical nightmare,” according to Peterson and an “absolute tragedy” according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.
Farmers may also have to get creative in their disposal methods as there are not enough incinerators in Minnesota to handle the oncoming deluge of biological waste. Fortunately, dozens of businesses and the state have stepped up to offer composting materials and instructions regarding how the tons of dead swine can be decomposed.