WASHINGTON  On May 12, House Democratic leadership released its latest proposal for the $3 trillion Health & Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act), which includes relief for meat producers and the livestock industry.

Some of the provision in the aid includes compensation for euthanized livestock that cannot be processed in the food supply due to COVID-19 outbreaks in processing plants.

The legislation also expands direct payments to livestock farmers who have suffered losses that have disrupted the market and caused the value of livestock to plunge during the pandemic. The bill allocates $16.5 billion for these payments, which would come from the Treasury Department.    

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) came out in support of these measures but also encouraged the removal of payment caps to ensure the aid can be extended to more farmers.

“US pork producers are facing an unprecedented financial and animal welfare crisis,” said Howard “A.V.” Roth, NPPC president. “These provisions represent a critical lifeline for hog farmers struggling to weather this storm. We urge Congress to come together quickly on final legislation that includes these provisions.”

Some estimates report that 10 million hogs may need to be euthanized between now and September.