Livestock News

California dairy cattle carcasses piling up after epic heat wave

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Livestock deaths have been on the rise in California’s Central Valley after a major heat wave hit the region throughout June and into July, and now rendering plants are having a hard time keeping up.

According to The Porterville Recorder, a local state of emergency was extended on June 30 in San Joaquin Valley due to the increase in deaths. Under the emergency plan, dairy farmers are allowed to bury or compost the carcasses.

Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner Les Wesley told KGPE-TV an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 livestock deaths were due to the heat recorded in June.

The excessive number of carcasses has caused malfunctions at rendering plants, and some have to stop daily pickups due to overloads.

According to The Weather Channel, California’s Central Valley was hit with two periods of prolonged triple-digit heat since mid-June. Fresno observed nine consecutive days in the 100s during the second half of June. Saturday marked the sixth day in a row with highs above the century mark in the latest heat wave and is expected to continue through much of the week ahead.

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