Minnesota Pork Producers Identifies C02 and Composting for Mass Depopulation of Hogs

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Farmscape for April 26, 2021

Dave Preisler 5:35 Listen

The CEO of Minnesota Pork Producers is advising hog operations to be prepared to consider all methods for humane euthanization of pigs when faced with COVID related processing plant closures. Last year, as the result of COVID-19 related pork processing plant slowdowns or shutdowns, hog producers were forced to euthanize animals. The situation peaked last spring and summer. Dave Preisler, the CEO of Minnesota Pork Producers, told those attending the 2021 Manitoba Pork Annual General Meeting, held earlier this month virtually via Zoom, several methods for depopulation and disposal were utilized.

Clip-Dave Preisler-Minnesota Pork Producers:
In Minnesota we actually had farmers that put down pigs because of packing plant issues last spring and summer.
It was a minimum of 350 thousand. We know that because that’s the number our state did some reimbursement on but the number was probably higher than that. The were a combination of methods that were used. One thing I would leave you with is don’t take any methods off the table. You just never know what sort of things that you would want to utilize from a standpoint of methods.
Some of the things that we did come up with are really what we came up with preferred methods for both depopulation and also for disposal.
I call this preferred. I would urge people keep all of the options on the table because you never know what will happen.

Preisler says the preferred method for depopulation in Minnesota ended up being the use of compressed carbon dioxide administered in used hydraulic hoist gravel trailers, which proved to be a cost-effective option. He says the preferred method for disposal was to grind a mixture of carbon, either straw, corn stalks or wood chips, with the carcasses followed by composting, which resulted in the destruction of viruses, such PED, Seneca Valley and PRRS.

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