Livestock industry preparing for coronavirus impacts

There is no evidence of COVID-19 in domestic livestock but many groups are urging farmers to protect their employees and prepare for supply chain disruptions.

The American Veterinary Medical Association says the current COVID-19 outbreak hasn’t caused a shortage of animal drugs made with ingredients from China, but supply chain disruptions could lead to shortages.  While they continue to monitor the situation, they are requesting to be contacted with any supply disruptions. A two to three-month supply inventory is recommended.

They are also recommending anyone with the virus limit contact with animals until more is known.  There is no evidence at this point pets or animals are affected or can spread the virus.  

The National Milk Producers Federation says they are prepared to help dairy farmers with coronavirus challenges.  The FDA has confirmed heat treatment, including pasteurization, kills other coronaviruses which NMPF says means the U.S. dairy supply is safe. 

The National Pork Producers Council is concerned about current labor shortages at packing plants and on farms could be amplified as school closures might prevent employees from working.  They’re asking the Trump Administration to help mitigate the impact on the industry by expediating worker visas and developing support plans.

The CDC recommends people continue practicing good hand washing techniques and stay home if sick.  Employers might consider encouraging employees work from home if possible or find creative childcare options as many schools close over the next few weeks.

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