So far, Belgium has not had to close slaughterhouses due to a coronavirus outbreak among staff members, mainly because the rules are much stricter than in the neighbouring countries, according to the sector.
In neighbouring countries, several slaughterhouses have been closed due to outbreaks, but this is not the case in Belgium. “There are much stricter rules for the slaughterhouses, as well as for the housing of migrant workers,” said Griet Lemaire, director of the Flemish Information Centre for Agriculture and Horticulture (VILT) on Radio 1 on Monday.
On Sunday, over 600 employees of a slaughterhouse in the Netherlands were quarantined, because 45 of them tested positive for the new coronavirus (Covid-19). Recent weeks also saw outbreaks in Germany, France, Spain and the United States, among others. The working conditions and accommodation of the personnel abroad are the cause, according to Lemaire.
“The meat industry is not the most attractive employer. It is not easy to find personnel. The sector employs a lot of foreign workers,” she said. “These people often work under a form of subcontracting or secondment,” Lemaire added.Read full article Share on twitter