US livestock and poultry farmers face having to euthanise millions of cattle, pigs and chickens in the weeks ahead because of the forced shutdown of meat processing plants due to COVID-19.

In recent weeks, about 20 meat processing plants in the US have been shut down due to outbreaks of COVID-19 among staff. Some of the world’s large meat companies like JBS, Tyson Foods, Smithfield and Cargill have all been forced to shutter meat plants across the US midwest in recent weeks.