DOJ approves of pork industry’s euthanasia plan

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division has OK’d a pork industry plan to euthanize and dispose of animals.

The National Pork Producers Council had asked DOJ for its opinion. The group wanted to be sure it wasn’t violating any antitrust laws as it collaborates with USDA and state authorities to reduce hog numbers.

DOJ responded on Friday, saying it will not challenge the plan. Its statement reads, “NPPC and its members may work at the direction of the USDA and state agriculture agencies to achieve humane and efficient euthanization of hogs that have grown too large to be processed and are thus unmarketable.  The NPPC may also share general information with its members about best practices for depopulating unmarketable hogs.”

A Politico report says that, under normal circumstances, collaborating to limit supply could violate criminal antitrust laws. DOJ said it would have “serious concerns” if industry members coordinated to fix prices, restrict output or engage in other anti-competitive conduct.

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