As of June 17, the 635 employees of Minerva’s unit in Barretos will cease operations. The trade unions fear the temporary closure, which follows China’s suspension on imports of Brazilian beef, will lead to layoffs. As reported by ILM, the Chinese government’s suspension comes after a case of mad cow disease was reported in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. Minerva said in a statement that the unit was being closed for preventative maintenance. “The objective is to ensure the proper conservation of the facilities and the maximum efficiency of the operation”, said the Company, adding that activities will resume on July 1.

Despite causing a halt on slaughter operations, some Brazilian breeders have welcomed the halt on exports while the situation is being dealt with. “The only issue was with China. No other country stopped imports of Brazilian beef and everything is running as usual. However, the commercial side has been affected and cattle prices have dropped by R$9 (US$2.33) in a week, but in 15 days everything should be back to normal”, a farmer told local media.

Source: G1