Coronavirus Forces Canadian Slaughterhouse To Kill 20K Fewer Pigs Per Week

by | April 17, 2020

The coronavirus outbreak has prompted the Quebec-based slaughterhouse for Olymel LP to cut its weekly kill count by over 20,000. 

According the Financial Post, the location closed in late March, after 120 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed at the close-quarters workplace. It reopened at a limited capacity this week and is killing up to 4,000 pigs per week — as opposed to its usual 28,000.

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Slaughterhouse, Meat Supply & The Coronavirus

Olymel LP is by no means the only slaughterhouse to halt or reduce its kills as a result of COVID-19.

In the United States, Smithfield — the nation’s largest pork producer and a facility often critiqued for its inhumane practices — closed entirely after becoming a hotbed for the virus with hundreds of cases among its 3,700 staff members.

Prior to closing, the slaughterhouse reportedly offered staff $500 to maintain perfect attendance in April, a move that was met with offence from a number of its staff members.

Closures like these, “market uncertainty,” panic buying and a halt in international flights have together amounted to major instability within the meat and seafood industry.

One Smithfield rep has even gone so far as to say the US is “perilously close” to the edge of a nationwide shortage.

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