The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) and the National Chicken Council (NCC) applaud the news announced this week by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue that the government of Morocco has agreed to allow commercial imports of U.S. poultry meat and poultry products into Morocco for the first time, bringing to fruition a 14-year-long effort to gain entry to the market.

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One of the nation’s largest pork producers, Minnesota’s Christensen Farms, was among the multi-state operation led by special agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations, who served a series of criminal arrest warrants on Wednesday in Minnesota, Nebraska, and Nevada on allegations that they are exploiting illegal laborers.

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On August 3, a North Carolina jury awarded $473.5 million to plaintiffs in the third nuisance lawsuit filed against Murphy-Brown, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer.   This is the largest award yet in the 26 lawsuits that have been brought against Murphy-Brown.

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Ag organizations have moved to support Smithfield Foods in its bid to have a judge’s gag order lifted, in the wake of a third jury verdict finding a Smithfield-related hog farm responsible for excessive odors and property value damage due to hog waste.

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The Office of the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) this week announced a list of $16 billion worth of imports from China that will be subject to a 25 percent additional tariff. Customs and Border Protection will begin to collect the additional duties on the Chinese imports on August 23.

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Gerald Lessard, Crystal Lake Farms president, has announced that its poultry processing plant in Jay, Oklahoma is closing its doors and laying off 110 workers. The 35,000-square-foot processing plant in northeast Oklahoma will shut down September 10. Economics prompted the shutdown, Lessard said.

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A train and a Tyson refrigerated trailer collided at an intersection in Newport, Tennessee earlier this week.  The Tyson tractor trailer was carrying a full load of boxes with frozen chicken nuggets, which were scattered for blocks after the accident.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced an update to the voluntary U.S. Classes, Standards, and Grades for poultry (poultry standards) to ensure they align with the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service definitions for “roaster and roasting chickens” used in labeling compliance.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has reissued instructions to inspection program personnel (IPP) on how to identify and verify that poultry processors are removing trimmable inflammatory tissues associated with “woody breast” or “white striping” conditions.

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Aviagen, a long-time supporter of the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP), participated again this year as a $5,000 platinum sponsor of the AAAP Annual Meeting, held July 13-17 in Denver, Colorado.

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U.S. total broiler slaughter data for the week ending August 11 is estimated by USDA’s Poultry Market News Service to be 169,717,000 broilers, a 4-percent increase from the same week a year earlier.

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