By Levi Parsons For Daily Mail Australia
Published: 05:09 BST, 5 August 2020 | Updated: 06:05 BST, 5 August 2020
Millions of chickens and pigs face will have to be culled in Victoria as early as next week because abattoir operators are being ordered to cut back their operations.
Premier Daniel Andrews had ordered a 33 per cent reduction in processing at meat plants to thin out staff numbers and allow for greater hygiene and social distancing practices, as abattoirs had been the source of several COVID-19 clusters.
But meat industry analysts say the move will result in huge numbers of animals being killed and disposed of, because they will not be processed under the new restrictions, they cannot be kept and they are unable to be trucked interstate due to border closures.
Millions of chickens and pigs could be culled in Victoria as early as next week, with abattoir operators ordered to reduce their staff numbers by one third
Premier Daniel Andrews announced that the 33 per cent reduction was necessary to prevent the spread of coronavirus in meat processing plants
The reason chicken and pigs are much more of a concern than lamb and cattle is because the animals have a far shorter window for slaughter.
'Sheep and cattle can stay in the paddock for a week or a month longer without too much trouble,' Robert Herrmann, the managing director of Mercardo told Daily Mail Australia.
'There is not much flexibility for a producer when the pig or chicken is ready to be slaughtered.
'For example, If you have 1000 piglets being born, it means at the other end that 1000 piglets have to be sold because otherwise there is no room.'