German minister urges meatpackers to work overtime to clear farm backlog

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HAMBURG (Reuters) – Germany’s agriculture minister called on Friday for slaughterhouses and meatpackers to work at weekends and on public holidays to deal with a backlog of animals that has built up on farms during the coronavirus crisis.

Industry estimates are that 590,000 animals, especially pigs, are waiting to be slaughtered in Germany, agriculture minister Julia Kloeckner said. State subsidies to store unsold meat are one option but not planned immediately.

“The situation has been sharpened because of corona-related restrictions on the slaughtering capacity in the entire EU,” Kloeckner told an online meeting of farming associations.

Germany toughened working and health regulations in slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants after COVID-19 outbreaks.

Farming associations complain this cut slaughtering capacity and that pigs especially are having to be kept longer on farms although they are ready for sale, causing price falls.

 

by Reuters staff

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