Düsseldorf Tönnies has to temporarily close a slaughterhouse in Sögel in Lower Saxony. The district of Emsland announced this on Wednesday. The authorities have issued a corresponding order to prevent “an exponential spread” of the coronavirus in and outside the slaughterhouse.
The number of employees who tested positive in dismantling had “continuously increased to 112” laboratory-confirmed cases in the past few days, according to the statement. The closure applies from Friday and initially for a period of 22 days. The district has also ordered measures and will “continuously review” them.
2000 employees work at the Weidemark slaughterhouse, which is part of the Tönnies Group. Managing director Christopher Rengstorf described the closure order as “not proportionate”. Tönnies announced on Wednesday evening that Weidemark would apply to the competent administrative court for an injunction against the measure.
The closure order is “at the expense of the farmers and the animals in the barn”, although the company has taken numerous measures. According to Rengstorf, these are already showing “initial successes”, and in his opinion the slaughterhouse does not pose an “extraordinary risk”.
The district of Emsland is less relaxed about it. “The ordered closure is intended to prevent the infection from spreading further,” said the authorities’ statement. Only administration and the security service are excluded because they are spatially separated from production.
It is not the first time that the authorities have temporarily closed a Tönnies group slaughterhouse. In mid-June, the Gütersloh district closed the Group’s main plant in Rheda-Wiedenbrück. At that time it took about four weeks before Tönnies was allowed to start a first test run.
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