The National Farmer’s Union says that pig farmers now face “human disaster” as a result of the shortage in abattoir workers.
According to the union, farmers have already had to slaughter healthy pigs as a result of backlogs on their farms.
The National Pig Association (NPA), warned that time is running out in the UK’s pig industry.
A minister in the government said that businesses need to pay more and make investments in their skills.
According to the industry, Brexit and Covid are responsible for the lack of workers who can slaughter pigs at abattoirs.
According to NPA statistics, the backlog has reached 85,000 pigs, and 15,000 more per week due to a chronic labor shortage.
According to the industry association, Thursday’s warning was that product shortages and empty shelves are becoming more commonplace. This means Christmas favorites like pigs wrapped in blankets could be at risk.
According to the NPA, “The knock-on effects of staff shortages are having a devastating impact on the country’s pig farmers.”
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Zoe Davies, chief executive of NPA, stated that producers across the country are starting to get rid of their pigs and reduce numbers as they can’t sustain such losses.
“Immediate government intervention is not necessary to push more producers over the edge.”
She said, “Sadly we expect a severe contraction of the UK’s pig industry,” and that primarily smaller independent farmers would be affected.
Over 600 pigs are already dead to combat overcrowding. The industry association said that a mass slaughter is next.
Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers Union spoke on BBC Question Time. She stated that the UK was the first country to face a cull.
She stated that pigs had to be killed using either lethal injection or a bolt gun.
This is the livelihood of people and it is their businesses.
“This is a terrible human tragedy for those who are totally distraught.
The government should address labor shortages, or we won’t have a pig sector in the country. She argued that this would lead to “we will import pork meat produced at lower standards.”
Ms. Batters claimed that Stephen Barclay, Cabinet Office minister and Environment Secretary George Eustice were doing their best. But she stated that Priti Patel was unable to visit her home to speak with her about additional migrant visas.
Nadhim Zahawi, Education Secretary, said that the government is working closely with the sector to develop sustainable solutions. He also stated that temporary visas were “not enough”.
He stated that shortages are also occurring elsewhere in the world.
M. Zahawi said that Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was right to encourage businesses to invest in their skills and pay more wages.
A top veterinarian said Wednesday however that Johnson wasn’t taking the possibility of a national porcine cull as seriously.