Euthanizing hogs a last resort for pork producers
Dr. Lisa Becton calls it a grave situation brought about by processing plant closures in the wake of COVID-19.
“No producer wants to have to consider euthanizing their animals because they’ve raised them, reared them. Their farms (and) their families are involved. So this is an absolute last alternative that they’re facing at this time.”
The National Pork Board and American Association of Swine Veterinarians have developed a guideline that Becton says outlines all the currently approved methods of euthanasia.
“The procedures and things that we have to do when we assess all of our farms and the current situation, is not because we want to. It’s because we’re pushed into dire circumstances, and we all want to do what’s best for our people, our workers, and our pigs.”
Becton stresses that at this unprecedented time, producers are seeking every alternative to depopulation. She says that includes changing to a maintenance feed ration and creating additional housing space either on-farm or with another producer.