The Public Abattoir is no longer allowing third parties to help out in the processing of animal carcasses, opting instead to charge a fee to carry out the task in-house, Agricultural Minister Anton Refalo said.
MP Edwin Vassallo asked about the new rates relating to the processing of cattle in a parliamentary question to Refalo, and the minister confirmed that procedures had been changed in light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The minister said that while the authorities needed to ensure that the service can continue to be offered, strict measures were needed to safeguard the health of those involved.
Middlemen and beef distributors were routinely involved in the cutting and deboning of carcasses, bringing their own workers to help out. But this practice, Refalo noted, could have seen abattoir employees contract the virus, possibly causing the closure of the facility.
As a result, it was decided to prevent third parties from entering the abattoir, with middlemen and distributors informed that cutting and deboning could be carried out by the abattoir’s own employees. To cover this expense, they were asked to pay an additional fee of €20, reaching up to €30 where deboning is requested.