In the note, signed by the executive director of the association, Graça Mariano, the meat manufacturers stressed that the strike has "serious consequences" for businesses, emphasizing that they pay an inspection fee "which is more than enough to guarantee an adequate number of doctors veterinarians to carry out health inspection functions".

Workers in public functions, including health inspectors, will be on strike from 19 to 30 December.

In this sense, according to the association, the Directorate-General for Food and Veterinary Medicine (DGAV) sent a fax to slaughterhouses so that they can take precautions with regard to animal welfare.

The association recalled that during the year there were several stoppages, which posed even more difficulties for companies, despite noting that it is not against the strike.

However, APIC expressed its "complete displeasure" at the fact that, despite having contacted the DGAV, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, as well as the office of the Prime Minister, António Costa, it had not obtained answers to this problem.

As he pointed out, without DGAV or local authority veterinarians, slaughter cannot take place and, at the limit, the economic operator may incur a crime against public health, "considering clandestine slaughter, the punishment of which is a prison sentence".

The association recalled that the health inspection service takes place upon payment by the industrialists of a fee to the State, which can amount, in some cases, to 35,000 euros per month, depending on the volume of slaughter.

On the other hand, he regretted that the constraints to the normal functioning of slaughterhouses have been going on for several years, since the DGAV does not have enough veterinarians, nor is it able to autonomously hire more professionals.

According to the same note, DGAV has thus resorted to the collaboration of city councils, but it has not been possible to ensure the "normal functioning" of the slaughtering industries.

On December 9, the association sent a letter to the Ministry of Agriculture and another to the prime minister's office, stating that this sector has been "forgotten and mistreated" by the Government, asking for measures to allow slaughterhouses to carry out their work.