The Department of Agriculture announced a coordination center to assist producers impacted by meat processing plant closures late last week. 

USDA says livestock and poultry producers face an unprecedented emergency due to COVID-19, particularly with the closing of meat processing plants in several states. 

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is establishing a National Incident Coordination Center to provide direct support to producers whose animals cannot move to market as a result of processing plant closures due to COVID-19. 

Going forward, APHIS’ Coordination Center, State Veterinarians, and other state officials will assist in identifying potential alternative markets if a producer is unable to move animals, and, if necessary, advise and assist on depopulation and disposal methods. 

Additionally, APHIS will mobilize and deploy assets of the National Veterinary Stockpile as needed and secure the services of contractors that can supply additional equipment, personnel, and services, much as it did during the large-scale Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza emergency in 2015.