Just 17 Plants Slaughtered 65% of U.S. Pigs Last Year

Seventeen pork slaughter plants processed more than 3 million hogs in 2020, accounting for 65 percent of the nation’s pork production, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture working paper published Dec. 2. 

More than half of all federally inspected pork slaughter plants in the U.S. process fewer than 1,000 hogs annually, but these small plants accounted for only 0.1 percent of pork production in 2020. 

The working paper analyzed the impact of COVID-19 on pork slaughter rates in the U.S. and found that the number of hogs slaughtered dropped in the first few months of the pandemic before recovering to match—and in some cases exceed—2019 levels.