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At least 4,800 chicks shipped to Maine farmers have arrived dead after cuts to the US Postal Service’s operation.

Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine has raised the issue of the dead chicks and the losses farms will experience in a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and U.S. Department of Agriculture Commissioner Sonny Perdue.

“It’s one more of the consequences of this disorganization, this sort of chaos they’ve created at the post office and nobody thought through when they were thinking of slowing down the mail,” Rep. Pingree said. “This is a system that’s always worked before and it’s worked very well until these changes started being made.”

DeJoy, a Republican donor who does not have experience working with the Postal Service, took control of the USPS in June, despite major conflicts of interest. Since DeJoy has taken over, the agency has cut overtime payremoved over 600 mail sorting machines, and either locked up or taken out letter collection boxes. These disruptions have slowed down mail delivery in an attempt by the Trump administration to limit mail-in and absentee voting this November.

DeJoy also testified before the House Oversight Committee this week, revealing his utter incompetence regarding the logistics of the USPS. President Trump has blocked $25 billion in emergency aid to the Postal Service, acknowledging his plans to curtail election mail operations.

The disruptions in the Postal Service have affected everything from Amazon packages to prescription medications as well as threatening the upcoming election. The shipping delays are also a matter of life or death for the live animals that are sent through the mail. For over 100 years, the Postal Service has been the only entity that ships live chicks, bees, adult birds, scorpions, lizards, frogs, and other small animals.

This already inhumane process has become even more deadly with delays in shipping.

Read more about how coronavirus has been linked to the wildlife trade.

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