Shutdown Delays Smithfield N.C. Trial

A federal judge has delayed the Smithfield Foods trial in North Carolina as the case is another victim of the government shutdown. The start of the case was postponed because juror’s pay could not be guaranteed, according to meat industry publication Meatingplace. A federal judge delayed the trial scheduled to begin this week, and noted the hearing would be rescheduled once funding is appropriated. The hog nuisance case is among several in North Carolina by more than 500 neighbors questioning whether Smithfield’s Murphy-Brown unit adequately managed hog waste. The delay is one of many effects of the government shutdown, including the closure of all Farm Service Agency offices. The Senate Appropriations Committee said last week 52 percent of the Department of Agriculture employees were working without pay.