A slaughterhouse, which had suspended its operation the previous day over various legal problems has reopened following the intervention of President Nicos Anastasiades, it emerged on Friday.
Head of the veterinary services Christodoulos Pipis said the president gave instructions for a committee made up from the ministries of interior, labour, health, and agriculture, to ensure all abattoirs continue to operate smoothly to cover consumer needs for meat.
The island currently has two large slaughterhouses, Cypra in Kato Moni, understood to be the only one handling cattle, A&A in Malounda, and a smaller one in Paphos.
Cypra said it was suspending its operation on Thursday over a series of legal problems it faces. The closure threatened to cause shortages in the market and potential unrest among animal farmers.
Cypra’s troubles, some dating years but now resurfacing, started last week when close to 100 staff tested positive for coronavirus. Most of those were migrants working without permits.
On Wednesday, police raided that facility, and A&A, and arrested the owners for employing nine migrants found at their premises working without permits.
Another issue that raised questions is the fact that the owner is the husband of state treasurer Rea Georgiou.
Pipis said the facility opened on Friday with new personnel, who should have tested negative for the coronavirus in line with health ministry protocols.
The head of the vet services noted that the state would step in if the owner is seen violating the conditions.
He said the state will not tolerate blackmail and one of the options would be to commandeer the facility.
The ministerial committee will study measures in a bid to resolve the matter and ensure the smooth operation of the slaughterhouses.
Pipis said potential closure of the facilities would create problems, not just to consumers, but also producers who would have to deal with animal overpopulation.