The facility handles about 20,000 animals a week.
Dennis Laycraft, the Executive Vice President of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, says they're working on how to deal with the growing inventory noting it will be impacted by the duration of the closure.
“We're looking at structuring an industry-government committee similar to what we did with BSE. That will be trying to look at what is realistic, you know, weekly, monthly and quarterly processing capacity or harvesting capacity. Then that determines how many animals would be put on a maintenance ration.”
He notes the industry is looking at a half-billion dollars in market losses between now and the end of June if there's no set-aside program and if plants don't get up and running soon.
Last week, the JBS Plant also announced it would be reducing its processing line down to about 2000 head a day as they also had employees impacted by the COVID-19 virus.
Laycraft notes the industry is looking at slowing down feeder cattle placements, moving heifers back into the herd and reducing the number of cattle entering into the feeder system.
He says they are also looking at other Federal or Provincial processing facilities to see where they can increase capacity.