It’s a question that’s been asked and answered over the past few weeks as the nation is reeling from a series of outbreaks of the coronavirus that killed at least six people in Iowa.
But what does it mean when a farm supply store sells pork and other meats that are sold at a supermarket for consumption, but the meat ends up in the feed supply of the livestock?
The answer is complicated, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
It means that the animal’s owner is responsible for all the costs associated with the slaughter, which could include the feed for the animals, the cost of transporting the animals to a slaughterhouse, the costs of transporting carcasses to the feed store, and the cost to the USDA of maintaining the feed.
It also means that animal feed suppliers can be held liable if their products cause an illness in the animals or if they fail to provide necessary vaccines.
The issue comes at a time when many farmers are pushing back on the idea that they are responsible for the cost associated with animal products they buy, because they know that if they buy pork, they are also responsible for paying for the slaughter of pigs.
The USDA said the most common way a farmer could be held to account for the feed is if they provide the USDA with a written statement that says they are not responsible for feeding animals that were bought from a feed store.
It’s the same for a supplier that sells milk, butter, eggs, meat, or any other food that is sold at the farm.
It’s unclear how much a farm can deduct from their gross income to cover the cost.
The USDA says that this deduction must be based on the actual amount of feed the animal received and that the deduction should be limited to not more than $2,000 per animal per year.
The USDA said the rule was developed to help farmers “address the real costs of animal products purchased and transported from farm to slaughterhouse.”
The USDA has created a list of common situations that it believes are responsible and includes:A supply store or other food store that has a feed storage facility where feed is delivered to the farmThe sale of meat and poultry from a source other than a farmA feed store that sells meat and/or poultry from the same farmA supplier that supplies food to another farm in the same or adjacent countyIf a farm has a slaughter facility that is owned and operated by a local government agencyThe supply store that transports carcasses that end up in feed supplyThe slaughterhouse that delivers and stores the carcasses at the feedstoreA feed supply store selling pork to feed a large herd of animals that is on a farm in another stateA slaughterhouse transporting animals to another slaughterhouseThe slaughter house that sells the meat and other feed that is transported to the slaughterhouse