Denmark grants increased flexibility for slaughterhouses
Denmark is relaxing requirements for large slaughterhouses that are extending the operating hours to evenings, weekends and holidays to cope with continuous demand for meat in the market in these times of crisis. In order to ensure security of supply and animal welfare, a number of slaughterhouses have asked to extend the operating hours to evenings, weekends and holidays. Among other things, the slaughterhouses have pointed out that the work is organized so that the employees are not close to each other, but there may, therefore, be a need to spread the work over a longer period.
Normally, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency's case processing of such changes takes 5-6 weeks. Part of the time is spent here for public hearings by, among others, neighbors of the slaughterhouses but now these requirements are to be more flexible, according to a press release from the Danish Ministry of Environment.
"It is important that the Danish slaughterhouses continue to deliver meat to the stores. At the same time, it is important that it is possible to take into account the employees at the slaughterhouses and that the animals do not suffer unnecessary nuisance in the special situation we are in. Therefore, today I have given the Danish Environmental Protection Agency the opportunity to quickly look if the slaughterhouses will produce at crooked times," said Environment Minister Lea Wermelin.
Any extended operating time can mean more nuisance for particular neighbors, as there will be odors and noise nuisance for neighbors during periods of time when it is not usual to smell and noise. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency believes that supplements for increased operating time should only be given for a shorter period.
Due to the special situation in Denmark, the Minister for the Environment has exceptionally granted an exemption for the Danish Environmental Protection Agency to conduct very short consultations with neighbors and the public in these cases. The hearings must continue to be conducted and the exemption can only be used to address unsustainable situations at the slaughterhouses due to the consequences of the Covid19 crisis. However, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency believes that supplements for increased operating time should only be given for a shorter period.
"I can understand if neighbors to slaughterhouses will feel bothered by the production of more lopsided times. Therefore, I only give the exemption for a shorter period. I hope that there is an understanding of the extraordinary situation we are in, and the neighbors must continue to be heard, but quite exceptionally this is done faster than usual," added Minister Lea Wermelin.
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