Reuters reported that the meat lobby group had asked the government of the state of Parana, the largest producing and exporting state of chickens in Brazil, to rethink regulations aimed at increasing the distance between food factory workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter seen by Reuters on July 10, the Brazilian animal protein association ABPA and two local trade groups argued that the minimum 1.5 meter distance required by state norms would reduce yields by 43 percent.

According to the letter, the average distance of workers at poultry facilities is 0.85 cm.

The federal rules passed on June 19 addressing Brazilian slaughterhouse operations during COVID-19 must take precedence over state norms, the letter argues. Federal regulations only require a physical distance of one meter, which according to labor representatives is insufficient.

According to the meat industry, enforcing a one meter distance rule will cause an 18 percent reduction in output.

Responding to the company’s attitude, Parana’s Chief Labor Attorney Margaret de Carvalho requested an “urgent meeting” with the governor on Thursday 9 July, according to a separate letter seen by Reuters.

He defended the enforcement of local regulations that were sustainable, because meat packing became a hotbed for the new corona virus.

“Around 16 slaughterhouses have or still have an outbreak, with six units recording more than 100 cases each,” said Carvalho’s letter.

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