Eastern Shore, MD – A letter with signatures from over 20 prominent Maryland organizations, released today, calls on Governor Hogan to release specific plant-by-plant data on the coronavirus outbreak unfolding on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Nationally, factory farms are hotspots for the outbreak of COVID-19 due to already dangerous and cramped working conditions and limited relief for workers who do get sick, forcing many who may have been infected to remain on the job. The Eastern Shore is no different, and with Hogan’s administration failing to provide information on how many workers are infected at the Eastern Shore’s two largest poultry processing plants, the Perdue plant near Salisbury in Wicomico County and Amick Farms in Dorchester County, they are putting both worker and public health severely at risk.
“In this time of intense uncertainty, poultry plant workers and Eastern Shore residents deserve the maximum amount of transparency that Hogan’s administration can provide in terms of testing data,” says Lily Hawkins, Food & Water Action organizer for the state of Maryland. “With the lives of workers and their families at risk, Governor Hogan has an obligation to release all available data as soon as possible. Slaughterhouses with cases of COVID-19 must close and stay closed as long as there are active infections among plant workers, and workers must continue to be paid for the duration of these shutdowns.”
“Governor Hogan, we urge you to release the numbers of Covid infections at each poultry processing plant in Maryland and support a moratorium on the building of new no-land factory chicken houses and prevent expansion of current CAFOs until we have scientific air monitoring data,” says Mary Ashanti, President of the Wicomico County NAACP Chapter.