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Tyson Foods resumes slaughtering hogs at idled Iowa pork plant

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CHICAGO, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Tyson Foods Inc said it resumed slaughtering hogs at an Iowa meat plant on Wednesday, three weeks after idling the facility because of a mechanical malfunction.

Workers at the plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa, will begin butchering the animals into cuts of pork on Thursday, spokeswoman Liz Croston said in an email. The company plans to increase production gradually, she said.

Tyson said on Dec. 16 that the plant could be idle for a few days for repairs and that it was shifting production to other facilities.

The Columbus Junction plant kills about 10,100 pigs a day, or about 2% of the nation's total slaughtering capacity, according to industry estimates. (Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago Editing by Matthew Lewis)