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Brazilian President Announces Slaughterhouse Auditing and Meets with Ambassadors at Steak House

03/20/2017 - 11h50



Brazilian President, Michel Temer, created a task force in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply which has already put the 21 slaughterhouses involved in the Federal Police's Carne Fraca operation under a "special inspection regime."

On Sunday, March 19, during a meeting with the ambassadors of the 33 biggest importers of meat from Brazil, President Temer made an announcement at Palácio do Planalto, the official workplace of the president of Brazil.

Temer intended to reassure the ambassadors – at the end of the event, they were invited to have dinner at one of the most sought-after steak houses of Brasília (DF), Steak Bull, famous for serving imported meats.

President Temer used numbers to show that the cases investigated by the Federal Police are too small and isolated to compromise Brazil's entire inspection system.

China, the European Union and the U.S. had already requested the Ministry of Agriculture for explanations on Friday, March 17.

"We made several resolutions today. The first is that we decided to speed up the auditing process at the sites mentioned by the Federal Police's investigation," said Temer.

"It is not our agriculture and livestock defense system that is under investigation; however, there are some problems, which were caused by few employees of few companies."

Temer also said that "all the meat packing plants that produce for export are open to be inspected by exporting countries and can be visited by the national control system, which is one of the most respected in the world."

Holding the report prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, President Temer complained that case was disclosed by the Federal Police and cited several numbers in the document. "We have 4,837 units subject to inspection in the country. And 21 of them are allegedly involved in some kind of breach. That is a small number in comparison with all the slaughterhouses in our country."

It is claimed that managers within the firms bribed health inspectors and politicians to obtain government certificates for their products. So far, 30 senior civil servants have been suspended and are under investigation for corruption

Among the 21 slaughterhouses involved, only six exported meat in the past two months.
Temer added that of the 11,000 employees of the Ministry of Agriculture in the country, only 33 are being investigated for their involvement in the case.

"The government reiterates its trust in the quality of this Brazilian product," Temer said. The Ministry of Agriculture has strict control and this standard made us enter the markets of more than 150 countries."

Temer ended his address by stating that of the 853,000 shipments of meat exported from Brazil last year, only 184 were considered "noncompliant" by importers – and these referred to problems regarding the labels or certificates and never the product's quality.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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