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06th Sep 2021

Farmers could be forced to kill and burn nearly 100,000 pigs due to a post-Brexit

Kieran Galpin


The meat will be wasted

Farmers could be forced to kill and destroy the remains of nearly 100,000 pigs due to a post-Brexit shortage of butchers.

Industry officials suggest slaughterhouses are dramatically understaffed, so much so that there is a backlog of 85,000 pigs awaiting slaughter around the UK.

Dr Zoe Davies, chief executive of the National Pig Association, said the backlog is growing by 15,000 each week. Unless they can be butchered soon, these pigs will have to be slaughtered and burned as it becomes too expensive to care for pigs past a certain age.

Dr Davies, who sits on an independent committee advising the government on migration policy, has said that despite pushback, the Home Office has ignored advice from the body to include butchers on the Shortage Occupations List.

She added: “You have ballet dancers on it but not butchers. You couldn’t make it up.”

A spokesperson for the British Meat Processors Association said it did not support a return to free movement but urged the government to “manage” immigration policy to avoid a “catastrophe”.

Similarly, a string of businesses have been affected by Brexit, most recently Coca-Cola.

Nik Jhangiani, chief financial officer of Coca-Cola Europacific Partners said: “Supply chain management has become the most important aspect following the pandemic, to ensure we have continuity for customers.

“We are very happy with how we have performed in the circumstances, with service levels higher than a lot of our market competitors.

“There are still logistical challenges and issues though, as with every sector, and the shortage of aluminium cans is a key one for us now, but we are working with customers to successfully manage this.”

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