German meatpackers should work longer hours after virus curbs – minister

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HAMBURG, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Germany’s agriculture minister on Thursday called for state governments to allow abattoirs and meatpackers to work longer hours to deal with a backlog of animals that built up on farms during the coronavirus crisis.

German farming associations complain that reduced slaughtering and meat processing capacity after the coronavirus crisis means animals are having to wait longer on farms.

“The situation on some farms is tense and livestock producers are concerned,” Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner said in a statement. “An animal welfare protection problem is developing as animals ready for slaughter cannot be picked up.”

“Capacity in some slaughterhouses and meatpackers has been reduced.”

A series of German meat packing plants became COVID-19 hotspots this summer including the massive Toennies slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck.

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