The fallout from an ongoing labor shortage facing the U.S. pork industry and other agriculture sectors could significantly worsen due to the impact of COVID-19, according to the National Pork Producers Council. 

A letter sent to government officials this week outlines NPPC’s labor specific concerns regarding the outbreak. 

There is no evidence that pigs can contract the virus. 

However, NPPC called for expedited solutions addressing the need for more workers on hog farms and in pork plants. 

It also called on federal, state and local governments to work together to develop a response to COVID-19 that protects public health and, whenever possible, supports animal care and minimizes disruptions to the U.S. pork supply chain. 

NPPC also called on the administration to develop support plans for hog farmers if labor-related bottlenecks in the supply chain prevent hogs from being marketed. 

Even without the additional challenge presented by COVID-19, NPPC says the labor shortage threatens to increase production costs and food prices for consumers.