May 25, 2020

HEROES Act

HEROES Act would give funding to livestock industry during pandemic

The House Democrats introduced the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act), a $3 trillion COVID-19 response bill, to assist the biofuel and livestock industry during the global pandemic. The House Appropriations Committee, in a press release, called the act “a bold and comprehensive coronavirus response bill that will meet the challenge this pandemic poses to our nation.”

HEROES Act would provide compensation to farmers for the livestock that cannot enter the food supply because of packaging plant capacity reductions due to COVID-19, and thus, must be euthanized. Increased funding for animal health surveillance and laboratories is also included in the HEROES Act. The bill offers $50 million to support new farmers and ranchers with financial, operational, and marketing advice in this unprecedented time.

The Act will also expand direct payments to farmers who have suffered because of market losses during the pandemic. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act included payment caps on agricultural direct aid offered, which has been called for removal by Livestock groups, including the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)

It has been estimated that some 10 million hogs will need to be euthanized during the COVID-19 pandemic between now and September. “U.S. pork producers are facing an unprecedented financial and animal welfare crisis,” said Howard “A.V.” Roth, NPPC President, in a press release. “These provisions represent a critical lifeline for hog farmers struggling to weather this storm. We urge Congress to come together quickly on final legislation that includes these provisions.” Roth continued, “House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson has been a champion for U.S. pork producers and the daunting issues they are facing. We thank him for his support of these provisions.” 

Read the HEROES Act Fact Sheet provided by the House Appropriations Committee here.