Activists rally at coronavirus-hit slaughterhouse in Germany
July 05 2020 02:34 AM
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Activists protest outside the Tonnies slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, Germany.
Activists protest outside the Tonnies slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck, Germany.

DPA /Berlin

Activists protested yesterday at a site belonging to slaughterhouse company Toennies, which has come under fire for its working conditions after outbreaks of the coronavirus at its plants in Germany.
They displayed placards at the plant in the town of Rheda-Wiedenbrueck in the western state of North Rhine Westphalia with the message: “Stop the exploitation of humans and animals.” 
Four activists displayed a poster on the roof of the company reading “Shut Down Meat Industry”, while other demonstrators put up tents to block the entrance to the meat company, the police said.
According to a DPA reporter, some of the protesters were chained together with bicycle locks.
The police spoke of a total of about 25 activists.
Others at the scene put the count at around 100.
Markus Soeder, the premier of the southern state of Bavaria, seemed to side with the protesters yesterday by expressing support for a major shift in the meat industry.
“Agricultural ecology instead of agricultural capitalism, that could be the way to go in the future,” the 53-year-old said in a video message.
Toennies has been in the headlines after more than 1,500 of its workers – many of the Eastern European countries such as Poland, Bulgaria and Romania – tested positive for the coronavirus.
The coronavirus had spread so widely at the Toennies slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck that restrictions were reimposed on nearby populations.
The outbreaks in the slaughterhouses have brought the focus on working conditions and employment contracts in the industry.
Yesterday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control and prevention said that cumulative nationwide incidence of coronavirus over the past seven days has decreased significantly to the level of 3.0.
That means that over the past seven days exactly three out of every 100,000 people were newly infected.
On June 23, the value was at 4.7 after local outbreaks in Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia, among others.
The number of new infections per day is also back at a relatively low level, compared to what it was last week.
The RKI reported 422 new cases yesterday, bringing the nationwide total to 196,096.
The total number of coronavirus deaths now stands at 9,010, a rise of seven over the previous day.



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