Tuesday 11 May 2021

Police close Apeldoorn abattoir for breaking Covid-19 rules

Police outside the plant in Apeldoorn. Photo: Persbureau Heitink via ANP

An abattoir owned by meat processing giant Vion in Apeldoorn was closed down by police on Wednesday because workers had been brought to the location crammed into 18 small buses, news website Nu.nl said.

Although abattoir owners had agreed not to do this, it is still happening and this means public safety cannot be guaranteed, the farm ministry told Nu.nl. According to local broadcaster Omroep Gelderland, no one is being allowed on or off the premises.

Farm minister Carola Schouten had talks with the meat processing sector on Tuesday following the news that around 20% of workers at one Vion slaughterhouse in Groenlo had coronavirus.

And earlier this month a group of staffing agency workers at another Vion meat processing plan in Scherpenzeel were put into quarantine because of a Covid-19 outbreak.

Vion said prior to the talks with Schouten that it was changing working times to reduce the contact between different shifts and using bigger buses to move workers around.

Most workers in Dutch abattoirs and meat processing plants come from eastern Europe and are employed via staffing agencies. The agencies usually provide their accommodation as well, which is often overcrowded, with dozens of people sharing the same toilet and kitchen facilities.

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