German pig slaughterplants closed due to dioxin crisis

13-01-2011 | | |

Pork processors Vion and Tönnies have reduced their numbers of daily pig slaughterings due to the dioxin crisis, Dutch agricultural newspaper Agrarisch Dagblad reports.

Vion said it will today close its slaughterhouses in the German cities of Lingen, Zeven and Kasel-Golzig. In addition, yesterday there was no slaughtering in the plant at Altenburg. All is related to a drop in the demand to pork due the dioxin crisis.
The production stop has been announced to last for only one day. As the market situation is rather uncertain, it will be reviewed every day again. On Saturday, there shall be slaughterings at at least one location to prevent delivery troubles.
Normally, Vion will slaughter approximately 17,000 pigs in Lingen and Zeven – some of them even are transported from the Netherlands. In total, Vion slaughters about 200,000 pigs a week – it’s unclear if there will be any effect on the prices for pigs.
Tönnies & Westfleisch
Tönnies, Germany’s largest pig processor, also strongly reduced its number of slaughterings. A chairman at Tönnies was quoted to have said that the situation on the meat market is ‘disastrous’, as orders have plummeted. Tönnies also slaughters about 200,000 pigs per week.
Westfleisch, the third big player on the German market, denied that it will slaughter less pigs.
At the Frankfurt stock market, daily settlement quotes for pigs have gone down already.
Contaminated pork 
Early this year it became clear that dioxin, which can cause cancer in humans, was found to have entered the food chain through eggs and poultry meat. There is still no 100% clarity as to whether also pork with too high dioxin levels entered the food chain.
The dioxin came from feed which was contaminated with industrial fats in Germany.
Related websites: 
Agrarisch Dagblad (in Dutch)

ter Beek
Vincent ter Beek Editor of Pig Progress / Topic: Pigs around the world