Just like with us, pig farmers across the canal also get their hands in their hair. Stricter rules for labor migration after Brexit have led to a huge shortage of hands in slaughterhouses and meat processing plants. It is not possible to process and cut 120,000 pigs on British farms. Combined with rising feed prices, this means increasing losses for UK pig breeders.
Zoe Davis, president of the National Pig Association, reports that some farms have begun culling the first 600 healthy animals because they would otherwise not be able to meet housing regulations. Most farms lack a permit to conduct on-farm slaughter, which prevents its wider dissemination for the time being. The carcasses are collected by buyers whose carcasses of sick or injured animals are usually processed into animal fat and meal.
Feed the nation, not the landfill
Boris Johnson has so far withheld concessions from the pig supply chain. Davies calls for loosening visa rules for foreign workers by allowing them to undergo the seasonal worker system for a longer period of time, as well as easing language requirements for potential butchers. In the UK, they find out how much their economy depends on foreign labour, because there is also a shortage of transport.
Pig farmers demonstrated last week at the Conservative Party conference with slogans such as “We farm to feed the nation, not landfill”. It wouldn’t be the first time that healthy pigs had been exterminated on a large scale in the UK: it had happened before in 2001 with the foot-and-mouth crisis. Then it was about millions of animals.
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