Farmers say they will have to euthanize as many as 10 million pigs by mid-September to avoid overcrowding because meat processing plants remain closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Currently, about 170,000 pigs per day cannot be sent to plants, and there is not nearly enough space to house all of them, the National Pork Producers Council says.
The decision to euthanize as many as 10 million pigs in the coming months is 'the only humane option,' the trade organization says, since the animals can grow large quickly in confined settings and can become aggressive with each other.
This comes as DailyMail.com has obtained exclusive disturbing photos of thousands of dead hogs already euthanized at the JBS USA processing plant in southern Minnesota, after the plant shut down operations due employees testing positive for COVID-19.
Meatpacking plants across the US have been closed over coronavirus outbreaks among workers since the start of April, impacting major food companies, including Tyson Foods, Smithfield Foods, JBS USA Holdings, and Cargill.