COVID-19’s effect on livestock


Will Peterson

Over the past year COVID-19 has changed the lives of many people, but it has also had a major impact on the world economy and the industries within it.

There are places affected that the average person doesn’t even think about. One industry affected by the pandemic is the livestock industry.

A good way to describe its effects on the industry is like dominos falling in a line. First, the processing plants were hit due to compact spaces between workers and poor hygiene regulations for workers, as that money is spent on making sure the food is safe to eat.

The government identified these plants as a hazard, and many were soon shut down. The plants being shut down hurt production and backed up farms that now had way more chicken than they needed, which led to a cutback in the amount of animals farms were raising and occasionally having to kill their animals because of overcrowding.

Because of most plants being shut down the plants that were still open had to produce a lot more, and shipping to these plants wasn’t as easy as before for many farmers, as the distance was much greater. It especially didn’t help that many people’s first thought as the pandemic started was to rush to the store and buy as much food as possible.

The demand for certain products changed as well. Since schools were no longer in session, milk was in extremely low demand with 3.7 million gallons being dumped by farmers per day according to CNN, a level not seen since the Mad Cow Disease outbreak. But luckily as the pandemic goes on and this became the new normal the supply chain has been able to slowly adapt to extreme circumstances.