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Lawmakers Welcome Extension of Line Speed Trial for Pork Processing Facilities

A group of Republican lawmakers welcome USADA’s extension for the Time-Limited Trial for New Swine Inspection System. However, they caution that the short 30-day extension would do little to provide needed certainty for pork producers, who contract with processing facilities many months in advance.

The announcement comes weeks after Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Representative Brad Finstad (R-MN) led a bicameral letter requesting USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack issue the extension to ensure participating processing plants can continue operating at increased line speeds. This is the second time USDA has extended the trial at Grassley and Finstad’s urging. Grassley says, “While I’m pleased that USDA has taken a step in the right direction by extending the program, the agency risks creating a harmful bottleneck in the pork supply chain if it fails to extend the program beyond just three months.”

Finstad adds, “I will continue to urge USDA to provide certainty to our pork processors and producers by permanently allowing them to continue functioning at full operational capacity.”

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