JBS Refutes Accusations of Illegal Cattle Buying

BRAZIL - Brazilian beef processing giant JBS SA has hit back over accusations that it has been buying cattle from producers in the state of Acre that have been barred from supplying cattle.
calendar icon 21 April 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

The company said its procedures for buying cattle in the state of Acre are correct.

After being linked to news about the purchase of cattle from embargoed properties in that state, as well as being party in a civil lawsuit filed by public prosecutors on 14 April 2011, the Company undertook a detailed investigation and said the allegations are not true.

The lawsuit refers to the possible purchase of 578 head of cattle over the past four years.

JBS said that it has implemented a blocking system for cattle sourcing, which requires prior consultation of the websites of IBAMA (Brazilian Environmental Agency) and the Ministry of Labour at three different stages of purchase: during the loading of cattle, at their arrival at the slaughterhouse and before slaughter.

This system has been operating since before the signing of the commitments with public organisations, in October 2009 and the company said it ensures that all cattle purchases in the state of Acre are made in compliance with those commitments.

The company said there were a number of inaccuracies in the information from the Civil Lawsuit and the reports published by the press.

Three of the Animal Transit Documents (GTA) mentioned are not listed in the cattle procurement system nor were they located in the Public Civil Lawsuit acts. Results of a consultation made using the date of these GTAs show that there were no cattle purchases linked to these documents.

Eight of the GTAs mentioned were issued, but the cattle were returned before slaughter because the suppliers' names appeared on the IBAMA embargoed areas list. It is possible that these suppliers did not cancel the GTAs, but the animals were not slaughtered by the Company.

Three GTAs came from properties that did not appear on the embargoed areas list on the day of slaughter and this can be proven through the printed version of the IBAMA website of that day.

Two GTAs relate to suppliers who own an embargoed area, but cattle were not purchased from those areas. Animals were sourced from other farms owned by those suppliers but which do not appear on the embargoed areas list of IBAMA (as indicated on the GTA itself), thus in compliance with the applicable legislation.

JBS said that it has never purchased cattle from those properties that were linked by Public Authorities to labour conditions equivalent to slavery.

JBS added that its cattle sourcing has been proved to be correct and in compliance with legislation, as well as with the Company's social and environmental commitments.

All procedures are submitted twice a year to an external and independent audit hired exclusively for this purpose.

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