Pork industry crisis intensifies as on farm culls rise

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At least 30,000 pigs have now been culled on farm and will not enter the food chain as pig producers have run out of options.

The National Pig Association (NPA) says that in reality, the number of animals culled is higher, since the 30,000 cases are only those reported to the organisation.

The backlog has largely been created by a lack of skilled meat processors since many employed in the profession are European.

Although the government has offered 800 temporary work visas for butchers from the EU, there have been less than 100 applications, immigration minister Kevin Foster told an Efra committee meeting on Tuesday (December 14).

The British Meat Processors Association has said that there are 10,000-12,000 butchery roles that need to be filled.

Likewise, the private storage aid for processors offered by Defra has not proved to have helped the crisis.

Zoe Davis, CEO of NPA, said: “There is is no real sign if any respite in the dire situation on farms.

“The backlog remains and, in some cases, with contingency plans exhausted weeks ago, producers have run out of options.

“Primary producers are bearing the full brunt of a crisis that has it roots in another part of the supply.

“That is why they urgently need more support from government and across the supply chain.

 

By Lisa Young  / South West Farmer

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