Brazil Lawsuits Allege Direct Relationship Between Meatpackers, Deforesters

"JACI-PARANA, Brazil — Meat processing giant JBS SA and three other slaughterhouses are facing lawsuits seeking millions of dollars in environmental damages for allegedly purchasing cattle raised illegally in a protected area in the Brazilian Amazon.

The lawsuits, filed December 5 to 12 by the western Brazilian state of Rondonia, target the exploitation of a protected area known as Jaci-Parana, once rainforest but now mostly transformed into grassland by decades of misuse by land-grabbers, loggers and cattle ranchers. Despite a law forbidding commercial cattle in the reserve, some 216,000 head now graze on pasture there, according to the state animal division.

The lawsuits contain a type of evidence that is getting the attention of deforestation experts and veterans of Brazil’s illegal cattle trade: transfer documents showing cows going straight to the slaughterhouse from protected areas, with the information apparently provided by the illegal ranchers themselves."

Fabiano Maisonnave reports for the Associated Press and Rubens Valente for Agencia Publica December 19, 2023.



Source: AP, 12/22/2023