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Slaughterhouses reopen but farmers still euthanizing pigs

Iowa pigs
Posted at 2:44 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 15:44:23-04

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Meatpacking plants that had to briefly close due to coronavirus outbreaks have been back up and running for weeks but production backlogs are forcing farmers to euthanize thousands of hogs that can't be processed, drawing complaints from animal welfare advocates.

The preferred methods of euthanizing hogs include gunshots or electrocution but when thousands must be destroyed en masse, producers shut off the ventilation, causing heat to build up in barns and kill them. Animal welfare groups say that is inhumane and should be stopped.

An estimated 2.5 million hogs are backed up on farms nationwide.