Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 20

A N I M A L W E L FA R E R E P O RT

Meat plants overseas,
such as Moy Park in
Northern Ireland, have
also invested resources
in safety measures
to protect employees
during the pandemic.

director for the Iowa Pork Producers
Association, outlined the response during
the worst of the oversupply crisis, roughly
from late-March to mid-June. The state's
response centered on the development of the
Resource Coordination Center (RCC); field
trials focused on depopulation and disposal;
and the Iowa Disposal Assistance Program.
Eggers pointed out that the accomplishments
and takeaways from the crisis boiled down to
successful public-private partnerships among
the stakeholders across local, state and federal
lines and including the state's pork producers.

DEPOPULATION LESSONS

20

MEAT+ POULTRY | 11.20 | www.meatpoultry.com

Moy Park

To facilitate depopulation, the state of Iowa
received hand-held captive bolt stunners and
portable panels from the NVS, which were
available to producers. Depopulation trials,
funded by about $260,000 in USDA grants to
Iowa's department of agriculture, facilitated
multiple pilot projects. Those depopulation
projects included using CO2 in temporary
corrals in both indoor and enclosed outdoor
settings. Another project involved utilizing a
portable V-restrainer used in combination with a
pneumatic captive bolt stunner or an electrical
stunner as part of a mobile system that can
accommodate pigs being loaded from the ground
or a loading dock. Both projects were tested on
a small sample size of animals and equipment
modifications are being made to improve them
for the next iteration. Findings from these
projects will be published and utilized as part of
a toolkit available for producers in the event of
future outbreaks of foreign animal diseases.

While not part of the USDA funding, other
carcass disposal methods used during the
crisis as part of the state's field trials included
composting whole carcasses in feedlot manure
as one option and the other utilized an aircurtain incinerator. In-barn decomposition
using supplemental heat was an additional trial
that was made with one Iowa-based producer.
Findings and data from these trials will also be
used in future responses.
"I will tell you that all three of the trials have
implications for use during a foreign animal
disease outbreak specific to virus degradation
and on-farm disposal," Eggers said.
The process of executing on what was a
planned response to ASF that was made in
September of 2019 was a learning experience
for all, Eggers said.
To apply the plan to depopulating and
disposal in late March in response to the
pandemic-related issues, "It was a lot tougher
than we thought. We have certainly done a
large amount of learning by doing and these
field trials have put us in a much better place
right now than we were in March, but we still
have a considerable amount of work to do."
While the entire world pivoted in response
to the pandemic, so too did the pork industry
in Iowa and elsewhere. Eggers said Iowa pork
producers sold pigs into markets they had
never considered before, including sale barns,
direct to the community sales through locker
plants and out-of-state processors. Producers
also learned new strategies for feeding to slow
down hog growth, a 180-degree mindset shift to
traditional pork production.
"All of these things built a little resiliency
into our program," she said.
The unforeseen consequences of the 2020
pandemic, while traumatic and challenging,
forced the world to learn resiliency and
adaptation. There is reason for hope, Eggers
said. "Supply chain disruption like this isn't
novel anymore; it isn't unprecedented to our
industry any longer. We have some tools and
we've demonstrated agility and resilience
during adversity."
Through those challenging months of
market disruptions, other considerations
surfaced that were inevitable given the need
for large scale euthanasia of healthy animals.
Not surprisingly, mental health complications
and issues among producers became common


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Meat+Poultry - November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - November 2020

Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 1
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 1
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 2
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 3
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 4
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 5
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 6
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 7
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 8
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Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 11
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Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 13
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Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 15
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Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 18
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 19
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 20
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 21
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Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 23
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Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 49
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 50
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - VDG1
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - VDG2
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 51
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 52
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 53
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 54
Meat+Poultry - November 2020 - 55
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