The German meat company Toennies slaughter house resumed slaughtering at its main plants in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck in the Guetersloh district of North Rhine-Westphalia on Thursday. Germany’s largest slaughterhouse has been closed for four weeks due to the detection of coronavirus in many of its employees.
The same morning, as part of a protest action, two Greene-peace activists landed on power hang gliders on the roof of Toennies slaughter house production hall , unfolding a banner there that read: “End the pig system.”
In the slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, about 8,000 pigs were slaughtered on Thursday. “This is the maximum that can be done in one shift,” a spokesman for the company told dpa.
Toennies usually slaughtered from 20,000. up to 25 thousand pigs daily.
The official maximum daily capacity of a slaughterhouse is 30 thousand carcasses. Its closure caused significant market perturbations as breeders lost the opportunity to sell sufficiently fattened pigs on an ongoing basis and to make room for new litters of piglets.
The poviat authorities, which allowed the resumption of slaughter on Wednesday, have not yet approved the launch of the next phase of the production process, i.e. cutting the meat.
If the results of Thursday’s plant inspection turn out to be positive, the partition can begin on Friday.
About 1.4 thousand people became infected with the coronavirus out of over 7,000 employees of the plants in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck.
Like the entire German meat industry, they have largely transferred to the system of seeking employees from external companies, the main support of which are citizens of eastern and south-eastern countries of the European Union who usually live in crowded cheap accommodation.
Half of the staff of the largest German slaughterhouse are Romanians, and 900 Poles also work there.
The spread of the coronavirus among Toennies workers has temporarily resumed sanitary preventive measures across Guetersloh County and in the neighboring Warendorf County.
Speaking on Thursday on public television ZDF, the state minister of health of North Rhine-Westphalia, Karl-Josef Laumann, declared the need to reform the rules on which German slaughterhouses operate.
“It is absolutely clear to me that contracts for the provision of employment by external companies should be prohibited in the meat industry,” he said. The same is true for fixed-term work, he added. (PAP)
Source: Polski obserwator.de