11.21 a.m.: Farmer President sounds the alarm
There is a backlog of slaughterhouses after corona infections in slaughterhouses, according to President of the Bavarian and Vice President of the German Farmers’ Association, Walter Heidl. For this reason, opportunities must be created quickly to temporarily extend working hours without endangering occupational health and safety.
The corona pandemic is making pig farmers difficult. Low prices for meat and limited capacities in slaughterhouses would push many farmers to their limits, said the President of the Bavarian and Vice President of the German Farmers’ Association, Walter Heidl. In some stalls it is already tight. There must therefore be flexible working hours in slaughterhouses and cutting plants very quickly for a certain period of time, following the example of a general decree issued by the Bavarian Ministry of Labor in the summer.
“With the slaughter pigs, we have a bow wave that we have been pushing for weeks,” said Heidl. Almost a million animals nationwide are already earmarked for slaughter. The number continues to rise. After the holidays, Heidl, who raises piglets and pigs on his farm himself, fears the situation will deteriorate further.
If helpers at the slaughterhouses, many of whom come from Poland and Romania, could even return to Germany, they would first have to be quarantined. “The problem is more likely to build up over Christmas.” Without help from abroad, the abattoirs would be extremely tight.