Germany’s largest meat site closure has ‘knock-on effect’ in UK

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Concerns are rising for the UK pig sector following the month-long temporary closure of a major German meat site after it experienced a coronavirus outbreak.

Tönnies meat plant factory, in North Rhine-Westphalia, processes 140,000 pigs per week, 15 percent of all pigs slaughtered in Germany.

The site had stopped importing pigs from certain countries, as efforts to divert pigs to other processing plants in the country were proving difficult.

It has been suggested that there is now a surplus of 100,000 finishers in the country.

Weekly slaughter hit 785,000 pigs in the penultimate week of June, 90,000 less than the week before the factory closure in Germany.

According the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU), this has meant that UK pig producers who usually send cull sows to the plant for cutting were seeing backlogs develop on farms.

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