Brazilian slaughterhouses sued for Amazon destruction

by Daniel Brindis

April 18, 2013

Cattle ranch located in Figueirpolis d’Oeste, Mato Grosso State, Brazil.

Life is about to get a whole lot harder for the slaughterhouses in Brazil who are still tied to a business model based on forest destruction and violation of indigenous and labor rights.

IBAMA, the Ministry of Labor, the Federal Public Ministry in the states of Amazonas, Mato Grosso and Rondnia, and the Federal Prosecutor in Amazonas and Rondnia sued 26 slaughterhouses for buying cattle from farms involved in illegalities. The fines for the slaughterhouses totalUS$ 280 million.

Brazilian slaughterhouse giant, BR foods, was cited for buying cattle from six farms in areas embargoed by IBAMA, according to the Federal Public Ministry.

In 2009, the three largest Brazilian slaughterhouses committed to zero deforestation with theCattle Agreement, pledging a supply chain free of slavery and the invasion of indigenous lands and protected areas in the Amazon.

This latest legal action demonstrates Brazilian slaughterhouses still do not have a control system that ensures a clean and efficient production chain, without social and environmental crimes.

Greenpeace is calling on all slaughterhouses in Brazil to implement a policy of zero deforestation.

More than 800,000 Brazilians have already signed onto a citizens initiative calling for a Zero Deforestation law that would offer full protection for the Amazon. With the presidents support this could become law. Greenpeace is calling on President Rousseff to support a law for Zero Deforestation in Brazil.

Daniel Brindis

By Daniel Brindis

Daniel is the Forests Campaign Director, based in San Francisco. His portfolio includes the Amazon, the Canadian Boreal, and environmental certification schemes like the Forest Stewardship Council. He splits his time between the San Francisco and Manaus offices.

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