The money would go in part to pay for the safe disposal of hundreds of thousands of euthanized hog carcasses.
“More than 750,000 hogs are produced a week and many have no market as restaurants and schools remain closed due to statewide closures mandated by your administration,” the letter said.
“Combined with temporary processing facility closures, this will result in producers euthanizing many hundreds of thousands of market-ready hogs. The financial impact of these decisions on hog producers, many of which are small, family-owned business, will be devastating for years to come.”
The letter added that “if not conducted properly, the disposal of so many animal carcasses presents a potential danger to public health and safety.”
The letter was sent by U.S. Reps. John Shimkus of Collinsville, Rodney Davis of Taylorville, Mike Bost of Murphysboro, Darin LaHood of Peoria and Adam Kinzinger of Channahon. The other 13 members of Illinois’ House delegation are Democrats.
The Republicans said money from Washington is available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but only if a governor makes a request. They said the funds would support a “critical infrastructure industry” and “ensure those carcasses are disposed in a manner that protects the public health and safety, and ensures that financial assistance is provided to producers in covering disposal costs.”
The governor’s office said that while the state and pork industry are taking steps to prepare for the need to euthanize hogs, “federal resources to put plans into action are absent.”
Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh said the state has received no formal guidance from FEMA on potential funding. And she said the U.S. Department of Agriculture has said it doesn’t have the authority to “provide indemnity, financial resources or boots-on-the-ground assistance because animals are nondiseased,” though the state made such a request earlier this month.
“What is needed is a thoughtful and coordinated federal response to provide the guidance and pathway to receive emergency financial resources to address this crisis,” she said.
The original article can be found on the Pekin Times website here.