Following warnings by farmers regarding mass culls, 800 Abattoir Workers from Foreign Countries will be allowed to work in the UK under temporary visas.
It stated that businesses must pay more for their employees and make investments in the skills of others.
According to the National Pig Association, 6,600 healthy pigs have been killed by farmers due to shortages of butchers.
In an effort to alleviate a driver shortage, the government announced that it would allow for thousands of additional HGV delivery to help address this problem.
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Covid and Brexit are the reasons that the meat industry attributes their butchering shortage to them.
Since last Wednesday, where the total was 600, thousands of healthy pigs were culled.
National Farmer’s Union (NFU), last week warned that pig farmers are “facing a human catastrophe” because of a shortage in butchers.
The report stated that empty retail shelves, product shortages and Christmas specialty items like pigs in blankets and pigs in socks are all becoming more common.
Temporarily, the government will extend its seasonal worker scheme to cover pork butchers.
For 6-month visas of up to 800, pork butchers can apply for them until the end.
George Eustice the Environment Secretary said, “A unique array of pressures on pig sector in recent months, like the impacts of the pandemic or its effect on export market, have lead to the temporary package we are announcing.”
This is the outcome of close collaboration with industry in order to learn how they can help them during this difficult time.
In addition, the government stated that temporary visas were not an effective long-term solution. Instead of depending on labor from overseas, businesses should invest long-term in UK workers to create a skilled, high-wage economy.
In addition to temporary visas, government officials announced several measures that would benefit the sector, such as:
- A Saturday slaughter and processing of animals
- When possible, work hours are longer in the meat sector
- An “private storage scheme” that allows processors and pig farmers to keep their pigs slaughtered for between three and six months
- Suspending nearly £1m of tax on pig farmers and producers in November
The company stated that there was a “suspension of export approval to China for certain UK pork establishments”, and it was working closely with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board in order to find other markets.
The haulage industry claims that a chronic shortage in lorry drivers has affected other businesses, such as petrol stations or supermarkets.
On Thursday, the government stated that it would temporarily permit lorries coming from the EU to deliver more goods as part of its efforts to alleviate the crisis.
EU lorries may only travel on “cabotage”, two times per week, at the moment.
Cabotage is the act of loading or unloading products in one country when a vehicle has been registered in another.
This rule will temporarily be relaxed by the government to allow EU lorries unlimited pickups and drops within two weeks.