Meat industry reports plummeting demand due to coronavirus | Totally Vegan Buzz
Meat industry reports plummeting demand due to coronavirus
Image: Sorbis / shutterstock.com

The future of the US meat industry is in serious doubt as farmers are reporting a drastic decline in demand and are expecting the trend to continue. 

Industry leaders of the cattle industry have complained that coronavirus has caused the industry to plunge to its lowest level in a decade, while the pig industry dipped to its lowest level since October 2018.

“The concerns are about restaurant demand and future overall demand,” Rich Nelson, chief strategist for commodity broker Allendale, told Farming Independent

“Much of the trade still thinks the worst is in front of us.”

The farming industry publication reported that many key markets are significantly down this month. 

Slaughterhouses are fearful that the coronavirus lockdown will hit the industry hard, with many farms expected to be closed. 

Staffing levels in the industry are also threatened as many workers who process and inspect meat are vulnerable to the virus. 

Prices for meat of both cattle and pigs have been in freefall in recent weeks, and many large factory farms are expected to close operations. 

But the United States Department of Agriculture told the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association it intended to ensure slaughterhouses would remain operational.

There are also fears for the impact on animal welfare, as the meat industry has requested a relaxation of regulations. 

The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) asked if staffing requirements could be lowered during the pandemic.

The plummeting prices for meat and outlook for the future has caused panic in many ranchers. 

Jess Peterson, rancher and senior policy adviser for the USCA said the group are ‘looking for flexibility [from the USDA] so that nothing gets shut down’.

“That’s my worst nightmare,” she told the farming trade magazine.

Coronavirus was first transmitted to humans at a meat market in Wuhan, China. Animal rights activists have urged populations around the world to ditch meat to avoid a repeat of the pandemic. Share this article to reveal the dangers associated with the meat industry.

Published by Oli Gross

Oli Gross is a writer and editor at Totally Vegan Buzz. His background is in local newspaper and magazine journalism, and his work has included reporting court cases, celebrity interviews, business analysis, food and drink features and government legislation. Oli’s career and personal ethical values both help shape his reporting of the diverse world of veganism. At Totally Vegan Buzz he specialises in breaking news and features on animal rights activism. Follow him on Twitter @Oli_Gross12

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