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Biggest Meatworks in Australian State Shut as Cases Multiply

  • JBS will indefinitely close Brooklyn plant amid state lockdown
  • Impact on meat supply could be limited given shutdown timing
An LED sign displays the message ‘Wear A Mask, Social Distance’ at the entrance to the Brooklyn Processing Plant in Melbourne on Aug. 12.
An LED sign displays the message ‘Wear A Mask, Social Distance’ at the entrance to the Brooklyn Processing Plant in Melbourne on Aug. 12.Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

The decision by the Australian arm of meat giant JBS SA to shutter indefinitely the biggest meatworks in the country’s second-most populous state may have a limited impact on supplies as the industry wasn’t operating at full capacity, according to analysts and industry groups.

The move to close the Brooklyn plant, about seven kilometers from the center of Melbourne, came as Victoria battles persistent outbreaks of the coronavirus, and hundreds of cases have been linked to at least half a dozen such plants in the state. Authorities last week introduced limits on staffing capacity at meatworks and processors in the state for six weeks.