In the midst of an unprecedented emergency in the livestock and poultry industry due to COVID-19, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is establishing a National Incident Coordination Center to provide direct support to producers whose animals cannot move to market as a result of processing plant closures due to COVID-19.
APHIS’ Coordination Center, state veterinarians, and other state officials will be assisting to help identify potential alternative markets if a producer is unable to move animals, and if necessary, advise and assist on depopulation and disposal methods, according to a USDA release.
In addition, APHIS will mobilize and deploy assets of the National Veterinary Stockpile as needed and secure the services of contractors that can supply additional equipment, personnel and services. USDA’s Natural Resources and Conservation Service will provide state level technical assistance to producers and will provide cost share assistance under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program in line with program guidelines for disposal, the release noted.
USDA is leading the federal response, working in coordination with the Vice President’s Task Force, the CDC, OSHA, Department of Labor, industry, state and local governments, and others across the federal family to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on producers, USDA said.
"We will continue to seek solutions to ensure the continuity of operations and return to production as quickly, safely and as health considerations allow at these critical facilities," USDA said in the release.
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