The next COVID-19 relief bill has to include recompense money for hog farmers who killed their animals because slaughter facilities were closed because of COVID-19, stated 14 senators in a letter to House and Senate leaders on Monday.

The letter didn’t recommend how much the reparation would cost.

Up to 400,000 pigs week “must be disposed of in some manner other than processing,” if slaughterer facilities are working at 80% limit, stated the legislators. Around 2 million pigs were going to butcher every week prior to the pandemic.

The USDA assessed hoard butcher at 357,000 head on Monday, 82% of slaughterer levels a year back, however up by 82,000 head from the past Monday.

“The crisis is immediate,” said the senators, mostly from the Midwest.

“We must prioritize funding to indemnify producers who are depopulating herds due to processing plant closures. Assistance is needed for humane euthanization and disposal which will require the coordination of the human, animal, and environmental health communities.”

Alongside, the National Pork Producers Council called Congress for $1.2 billion to recompense farmers during a USDA cattle help program for culled pigs and $500 million to USDA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help in the cost for killing and disposing of pigs.

The Hagstrom Report was the first to report the undated, two-page fact sheet.