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Image: Hogs

Policy



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Federal programs for hogs are not comparable to those for crops. Federal legislation provides assistance to farmers with emergency feed, meat purchasing, disease eradication, drought assistance, and conservation and environmental programs.

  • When producers are experiencing financial stress, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) may purchase meats for domestic feeding programs to help strengthen prices through Commodity Purchase Programs.
  • USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service oversees USDA's disease eradication programs such as that for pseudorabies, a viral swine disease.
  • USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) provides assistance to producers for natural disaster losses resulting from drought, floods, fire, freezes, tornadoes, pest infestations, or other calamities.
  • Other programs for livestock operations include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which provides technical, educational, and financial assistance to eligible farmers and ranchers to address soil, water, and related natural resource concerns on their lands in an environmentally beneficial and cost-effective manner.

The trend toward fewer and larger enterprises has brought environmental issues to the forefront of public policy regarding the hog industry. As animal density increases, so do concerns regarding air and water quality, occupational health, and waste management. In areas of greatest concentration of hog production, human population density is increasing as well. These trends hold the potential for growing conflicts of interest between nearby residents and hog producers resulting from odor, water contamination, and other environmental problems associated with concentrated production.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides information about national environmental requirements specifically related to the producing agricultural animals, including fish and other aquatic animals. EPA promulgates and enforces livestock waste regulations, including those on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. Many States and locales have regulations on the size of confined animal operations, odor, waste disposal, and water quality as they relate to agriculture.

Agricultural policy extends to trade, and agriculture is one of the topic areas in the World Trade Organization that has been opened to negotiations. In addition to market forces, sanitary and phytosanitary regulations, tariffs, quotas, and other policies affect the trade of animal products.

Last updated: Friday, June 27, 2014

For more information contact: Mildred Haley