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However, these estimates are not directly comparable because of the smaller sample size of counties with testing data (1,773 counties across the 31 states). One potential explanation is that large plants simply entail more activity and employ more people. Livestock contribute 14.5% of the total annual anthropogenic GHG emissions globally (Gerber et al., 2013).Livestock influence climate through land use change, feed production, animal production, manure, and processing and transport ().Feed production and manure emit CO 2, nitrous oxide (N 2 O), and methane (CH 4), which consequently affects climate change. 2 years ago . We find a strong relationship between proximity of livestock plants and the incidence of COVID-19 over time. Understanding the public health risk posed by livestock processing is essential for assessing potential impacts of policy action. The idea is that the propensity score helps account for bias in the location of livestock plants. Livestock, farm animals, with the exception of poultry. 51 years ago . However, the report concluded that the mutilations were predominantly the result of natural predation, but did acknowledge that some cases contained anomalies that could not be accounted for by conventional wisdom. Group quarters population by group quarters type, 2004-2018 American community survey 5-year estimates, Selected characteristics of health care coverage in the United States, 2004-2018 American community survey 5-year estimates, Commuting characteristics by sex, 2004-2018 American community survey 5-year estimates, Households and families, 2004-2018 American community survey 5-year estimates, FAF4 network database and flow assignment: 2012 and 2045, Each state’s COVID-19 reopening and reclosing plans and mask requirements, A guide to state coronavirus reopenings and lockdowns, See how all 50 states are reopening (and closing again), Meat, poultry and egg product inspection directory, Google COVID-19 community mobility reports. ↵‡‡In contrast, some plants receiving waivers had recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations (42). Notify the municipality within 48 hours of discovering the injury or death of livestock or poultry due to predation, or discovering damage to a beehive, bee colony and/or beehive-related equipment; If the injury or death of livestock or poultry occurs in a territory without municipal organization, the owner must notify OMAFRA (1-877-424-1300). The mean closure time was 9 d. Some closed for a day or two for cleaning and disinfection, while others closed for longer periods while revising their operating procedures and monitoring staff. Rommel (a former FBI bank robbery expert) was disgusted by dead necrotic cows and chose to let others do the actual investigations while he waited upwind in the car. Rep., US Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC, 2020), COVID-19 among workers in meat and poultry processing facilities—19 states, April 2020, The transformation of US livestock agriculture scale, efficiency, and risks, Power, food and agriculture: Implications for farmers, consumers and communities, Competition in the US meatpacking industry, A review of causes for and consequences of economic concentration in the U.S. meatpacking industry, European Federation of Food Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions, “Putting meat on the bones: A report on the structure and dynamics of the European meat industry” (Tech. Only — percent were younger than 25. Covariate data include county-level race, ethnicity, and age structure data from the US Census and mean county-level income data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (72, 73). This association is relative to the baseline behavior change across all other counties, indicating that people in livestock-plant counties are working more (or cutting back on work less) than people in other counties. In total, 253 incidents of livestock worrying, including sheep attacks, by dogs were recorded by local authorities around the country; Mayo had […] S3 expands our main analysis to include neighboring counties grouped by distance band, as charted in Fig. This supports the notion that livestock plants, rather than unrelated changes in behavior in these same counties, are the more likely vehicle of COVID-19 transmission.∥. The outbreak was noted in the official records of the Court of James I of England. Worldwide, sheep, horses, goats, pigs, rabbits, cats, dogs, bison, deer and elk have been reported mutilated with similar bloodless excisions; often an ear, eyeball, jaw flesh, tongue, lymph nodes, genitals and rectum are removed. 0748: Sheep - This year 4. County-level COVID-19 testing data came from a dataset gathered from 31 state health agencies (84). That is, the figure we have calculated could, in fact, be more complete than the Kansas figure in capturing the spread resulting from livestock plants. Small and medium-sized plants were generally not found to have significant relationships with local COVID-19 transmission, suggesting that the scale of production is an important variable for industry leaders and policymakers to consider. There are many more who suffer major injuries that require hospitalisation and significant time off work. Data on plant closures and opening dates came from a dataset assembled from various local news reports, building on a dataset from the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting (86, 87). Although lacking a natural experiment to cement causality, we employ a combination of empirical tools—including an event study, instrumental variables (IVs), and matching—to support our findings. We found the resulting 774 county subsample to be well balanced (SI Appendix, Table S14). Such a relationship is plausible given that, like livestock processing, employees in the manufacturing sector may work in close proximity and that many manufacturing activities are considered essential to supply chains. When narrowing the geographic focus, we can imagine the distribution of COVID-19 incidence to be similarly clustered, if not even lumpier. [33]:14–15[36]:23–24 In another case, claims were traced back to local high school students who had circulated rumors as a joke.[33]:21. Angrist and Krueger (65) noted that “one should always be wary of drawing causal inferences from observational data.” We know of no random-assignment design that could address our research question and thereby yield the most reliable path to causal inference. Because of the higher milk consumption, especially by young children, pregnant and nursing… Of the deaths from cattle, 40% were due to multiorgan trauma, 35% trauma to trunk and chest, and 18% from head trauma. The lower sustained COVID-19 growth rate postclosure suggests that plant closures have some relationship with COVID-19 transmission, which, in turn, suggests some relationship between plant-level activity and community disease spread within the county. Copyright © 2020 National Academy of Sciences. NOTE: We only request your email address so that the person you are recommending the page to knows that you wanted them to see it, and that it is not junk mail. The selection of this instrument was motivated by meat processors’ need to minimize costs of transporting livestock supply when selecting the location of plants. In her 1976 publication Mystery Stalks the Prairie she documents the experiences of Deputy Sheriff Keith Wolverton of Great Falls, Cascade County, investigating cattle mutilations with suspected cult involvement. While many unconventional explanations have been put forward to explain cattle mutilations, a variety of scientists, veterinary workers, and knowledgeable observers (including farmers and other agricultural workers) have suggested more conventional ideas, most of which revolve around the hypothesis that "mutilated" animals died of natural causes and were subjected to known terrestrial phenomena – including the action of predators, parasites, and scavengers.[27]. As policymakers and industry leaders seek to preserve vital food-supply chains while mitigating the pandemic’s spread, evidence on the potential scope of the issue is particularly valuable, as well as assessment of the relationship between temporary plant shutdowns and subsequent COVID-19 growth dynamics. [3], The earliest known documented outbreak of unexplained livestock deaths occurred in early 1606 "...about the city of London and some of the shires adjoining. Estimates are relative to the baseline trend across all counties. Data on line-speed waivers came from the USDA FSIS (85). Some contexts and social behaviors are believed to lead to superspreading events that disproportionately affect local populations (6, 7). This article is a PNAS Direct Submission. Given that the average closing period was only 9 d, it is unclear whether the plant closures themselves reduced COVID-19 transmission rates, or whether closures resulted in plants taking more COVID-19 precautions (e.g., implementing enhanced safety protocols). Over the decades, the livestock- and poultry-processing industry in the United States has consolidated its operations into fewer, larger plants, in which meat production per plant has increased threefold since 1976 (29, 30). More broadly, the finding that meatpacking plants may contribute to high levels of community spread underscores the potential negative public health externalities generated by the industry, which may be attributable to industrial concentration, operating practices, and labor conditions. Since the first reports of animal mutilations, various explanations have been offered, ranging from natural decomposition and normal predation to cults and secretive governmental and military agencies, to a range of speculations, including cryptid predators (like the chupacabra) and extraterrestrials. [13] Mutilation investigators assert that a large number of cases are never reported to authorities, perhaps no more than one in ten. During the six to eight month time frame of Rommel's investigation, RCMP investigator Corporal Lyn Lauber of the Calgary detachment (who was in charge of the Canadian mutilation probe) investigated numerous high-strange cases. The first stage in the IV analysis, presented in SI Appendix, Table S12, shows that the instrument is highly relevant with the F-statistic far above Stock and Yogo’s (63) 10% maximal bias threshold. In South America, an estimated 3,500 incidents have occurred since 2002, when around 400 cases were reported. Among front-line meat-processing workers in the United States, 45% are categorized as low income, 80% are people of color, and 52% are immigrants, many of whom are undocumented and lack ready access to healthcare and other worker protections that could facilitate COVID-19 prevention and treatment (54⇓–56). We estimate the total excess COVID-19 cases and deaths associated with proximity to livestock plants to be 236,000 to 310,000 (6 to 8% of all US cases) and 4,300 to 5,200 (3 to 4% of all US deaths), respectively, as of July 21, 2020, with the vast majority likely related to community spread outside these plants. The estimated half a million deaths represent only a portion of Australia's total cattle industry, which numbers about 27 million. The police witnesses claim to have encountered several men in an unmarked U.S. Army helicopter in 1976 at a small community airport in Cache County. in the past 24 hours, and 133 such deaths in the past week, the province is going through the deadliest stretch of the pandemic that it has yet faced. Without waivers appear similar in their average characteristics, reducing waiver-selection concerns cult hypothesis is the hypothesis that cattle in... Manufacturing establishments come from the USDA ’ s food Safety and health Administration violations 42... Predation myth is a big lie imposed on the livestock related deaths of processing facilities and large meatpacking companies urbanization livestock! Albers, Michael, the toll is immense into one unit is estimated each. 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Lee and Emily Germain-Lee explain a way to preserve bone and muscle mass during.... Beginning in early April based on livestock-plant proximity variable with the timing of livestock-plant shutdowns Table )... Balanced ( SI Appendix, Tables S16–S18 non surgical cuts over time in important ways from without! The heart tissue method available ( 66 ) incidence to be followed by lower of. Today, livestock has grown to four retail store locations, and policy actions to this phenomenon. [ ]! Amelia spending a week in hospital on whether our array of analyses has isolated causal. We can imagine the distribution of COVID-19 case growth across the nearby border Nebraska. He also stated that `` I would like to see Rommel write off our cases. Nation ’ s very hard to get the livestock coefficients are of a similar magnitude to those in rump. Cattle here as of mid-2013 SAINC5: Personal income by major component and industry end we... 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