In Brief: COVID-19 outbreaks prompt outcry about working conditions in German meat-processing plants

German Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner is meeting today with meat industry representatives to discuss pricing, animal welfare and working conditions in the wake of several COVID-19 outbreaks in German meat-processing plants.

Photo by: Pixabay on Pexels

By Sylvia Cunningham and Kate Brady

Recent COVID-19 outbreaks in German meat-processing plants have prompted new outcry about poor working conditions.

That’s why Germany’s agriculture minister will meet today with industry representatives and activists to discuss all aspects of the meat industry “vom Stall bis zum Teller,” or “from farm to table.”

MP Renate Künast from the Green Party told public broadcaster ARD that there should be major changes.

Künast said every piece of meat and sausage should have a label that says how the animals have been kept, and there must be hygiene rules.


German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said he will not file a criminal complaint against a journalist who satirized the police, a reversal from earlier this week.

The controversial column appeared in the left-leaning German daily, the taz, on June 15.

In it, Germany’s police force was compared to trash, prompting Seehofer to threaten legal action, and sparking a debate about press freedom.

Seehofer reiterated his feelings about the column yesterday, saying it was written using “scornful, degrading and inhuman language.”

But instead of filing a lawsuit, the interior minister now plans to speak with the editor-in-chief of taz.

The German Press Council will discuss on Sept. 8 whether the column violated the ethical standards for journalism.

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.

Whether it’s our coverage of the coronavirus, rent freezes or more light-hearted subjects like Berlin’s pandas, you can count us for factual and informative content. We are the go-to source for the English-as-a-common-language community in Berlin and beyond. The pandemic will challenge us to find new ways of doing reporting, but we will continue to bring you the programming you love and news you can trust. We are a listener-funded public radio station, driven by donors like you. So please consider donating today to keep us on air, online and in your community.