A bipartisan group of lawmakers wants the Trump administration to provide guidance on how the Federal Emergency Management Agency can help farmers depopulate and dispose of livestock. Led by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, a Democrat from Minnesota, the group sent a letter to the White House specifically requesting the Administration allow for expenses related to livestock depopulation and disposal to be reimbursed under Category B of FEMA's Public Assistance program.
A similar effort in the Senate led by Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley says farmers are facing an animal welfare crisis due to overcrowding and the challenge of providing enough feed and water to each animal. The Senate letter states pork producers send to market over two million pigs each week.
If twenty percent of processing is idle, that means somewhere around 400,000 animals per week must be disposed of in some manner other than processing.