VION Bad Bramstedt provides guarantees
Independent experts with authority to issue directives
17 March 2014 – On 7, 12 and 13 March 2014, the VION Bad Bramstedt GmbH meat company provided three comprehensive statements to the inspectorate of the state of Schleswig-Holstein, setting out guarantees for a slaughter and meat processing plant that is future-proof. One component of this written undertaking is that € 1.5 million will be invested in modernising the production site this year, and that the plant’s stunning equipment in particular will be made state of the art. In addition, VION Bad Bramstedt has told the Ministry of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment and Rural Areas (MELUR) that it is prepared to engage two recognised, independent experts with their own authority as managers of the abattoir.
From a neutral and independent position, these high-level, independent experts will temporarily be given all the powers required for guaranteeing that slaughtering and processing is carried out at the Bad Bramstedt plant safely and in accordance with animal welfare standards when production resumes. They will be given general power and the authority to issue directives as site managers for the company.
Following the recommendations for the resumption of production given by inspectors and the Segeberg district on 5 March 2014, VION Bad Bramstedt has stated that it is prepared to carry out extensive modernisation work. In written guarantees, the inspectorate and regulatory body for the Segeberg district and the MELUR were assured that a new, state-of-the-art stunning box will be installed, that slaughtering times will immediately be reduced by more than 25%, that the monitoring system for the stunning process and its efficacy will be extended and that each process in the stunning area will be recorded uninterruptedly through video monitoring. Ventilation systems, refrigeration technology and hygiene sluices will be renovated or modernised. Staff will receive additional training relating to animal welfare and hygiene for the areas in which they work. In addition, VION Bad Bramstedt presented the state authorities with detailed documentation relating to the measures already taken during shutdown.
VION Bad Bramstedt’s main concern is to resume production soon. The company’s management has reiterated that it is prepared to enter into a dialogue with state and political decision-makers at a professional level in order to objectively seek a way to clear up any points of criticism, with the aim of maintaining the plant, which is important to agriculture and trade in Northern Germany. How complex the matter is was borne out by the fact that the administrative court in Schleswig was not in a position on Friday to issue an advance ruling on whether the plant could be reopened. The ruling resulting from the accelerated legal process is now expected in around ten days. In submitting the three written guarantees, VION Bad Bramstedt has established conditions that make a resumption of production at an earlier date possible.