USCA’s letter to Transportation Secretary highlights ‘compounding emergencies’


USCA’s letter to Transportation Secretary highlights ‘compounding emergencies’

A letter sent by the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg warns of ‘compounding emergencies’ that might cause disruptions to the supply chain.

Andrea Marks-Hershberger with USCA tells Brownfield cyberattacks on meat packer JBS USA and Colonial Pipeline are having negative impacts on haulers. “If you couple that with the dismal prices that beef producers are seeing right now, we’re concerned that there might be a downturn in producers and the numbers they’re producing and even producers pulling out of the production game.”

USCA’s letter asks the Secretary to provide immediate regulatory relief for haulers of live animals and fresh meat products.

The letter says USCA “strongly believes this event warrants immediate regulatory action to ensure grocery store shelves stay stocked.” It also says “further agency action following the ransomware attack of Colonial Pipeline provides a precedent” for an emergency declaration.

She says the transportation industry is complex and any hiccup could have lasting effects for consumers and producers. “It paints a really interesting and not-so-optimistic picture for trucking companies. Many people don’t understand the logistical process that leads to a pound of hamburger being in their meat counter.”

Livestock and beef transporters have been operating under an exemption since March 13, 2020 that’s helped provide relief to keep grocery stores stocked.