Two of central Victoria's largest meat processors are preparing to scale back their operations to two-thirds starting from Friday night.
Don KR Castlemaine and Hazeldene's Chicken Farm both said they are working with state government authorities and staff to comply with the recent state government mandate.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced abattoirs and meat processing facilities statewide would be subject to stricter operating conditions, which he announced on Monday.
Don Smallgoods recommenced some operations at its Castlemaine site on Monday, following approval from the Department of Health and Human Services.
A total of eight positive COVID-19 cases have been linked to Don employees, according to a Don Smallgoods spokesperson.
"The eighth case represents a close contact of one of our first staff members, who tested positive to COVID-19, and so has been in self-quarantine," the spokesperson said.
The smallgoods company said it is continuing to implement its return to work process and will be able to operate "under our COVID Safe plan per the latest Victoria-based restrictions impacting the smallgoods industry."
Hazeldene's chief executive Mark Heintz said the Lockwood chicken processing facility has worked with Bendigo Health and the state health department to provide onsite and off-site COVID-19 testing in the past 72 hours.
"Confirmed results are still pending," Mr Heintz said.
A Melbourne-based contractor working at Hazeldene's tested positive to COVID-19 on Monday, the facility's only reported positive case.
Hardwick Meatworks' Gary Hardwick said while the new regulations would make things difficult, they came at a time when production is low.
"There is a scarcity of aged sheep, so the production of those lines is very low at the moment," Mr Hardwick said.
"It will increase after shearing, but we won't get a big supply until mid-September."
Mr Hardwick said cattle supplies were tight, but so was demand, with hotel and food service shutdowns.
"That's reduced the demand for beef," he said.
Mr Hardwick said processors would continue to operate at saleyards.
"All processors who make the decision to keep processing, under these conditions, need livestock," he said.
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