The world’s leading meat processor, JBS Foods, which has operations in Australia, Canada and the US, has been hit by cyber attacks which have resulted in the shutting down of operations for the time being.

The Queensland meat industry union confirmed that JBS Foods’ information systems were targeted, with the company’s chief executive Brent Eastwood confirming the shutdowns to Beef Central.

The company cancelled its entire beef and lamb kills across Australia yesterday (May 31) with similar moves to be undertaken at its other facilities around the world.

At this point, the company cannot say how long operations will be suspended as it assessing the impact of the breach.

It’s understood Australia’s Agriculture Minister, David Littleproud, has said that the government is doing all it can to get Australian abattoirs up and running again, while also trying to limit the effects of the cyber attack on domestic supply and export markets.

A spokesperson for JBS said:

"The company is not aware of any evidence at this time that any customer, supplier or employee data has been compromised or misused as a result of the situation.

Resolution of the incident will take time, which may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers."

It is unclear who carried out the cyberattack. JBS said it is working with an incident response firm to restore its systems as soon as possible.