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Congressman Steve King speaks on pork processing crisis due to COVID-19 pandemic

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(KTIV) -- With some meatpacking plants closing in Iowa due to the coronavirus, producers have had no choice but to euthanize millions of healthy hogs.

On Wednesday, Iowa Congressman Steve King discussed the importance of a strong federal response to the pork processing crisis. King says they want to do everything they can to help the farmers, who are affected.

Hogs from Worthington, Minn., are being loaded up and transported to the Darling Plant in Sioux City to get rendered.

"So, the first thing is to get the plants open. Can't do that without the employees' confidence. That means testing it means PPE. And any other policy that we can bring. And that's what will help lift this accumulating load off. Second thing is to be able to do euthanization. Third thing is to take a look at these producers and see what it's going to take to keep them in business," said King.

King says the price of the meat in the case, versus what the animal actually worth, is quite different. He says if they don't act soon, the crisis could hit hard with the cattle industry as well.

"And I want to make sure that we hold these pork producers and these cattlemen especially together," he said. "The nightmare that I witnessed today with hogs, hogs that would stretch from Minneapolis to Dallas-Fort Worth is also a nightmare were likely to see with cattle if we don't get this moved," said King.

King adds they are also working on developing a plan that will be set in place in case a crisis like this were to happen again.

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Emily Schrad

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