Updated Friday, 1 October 2021 – 16:16
The Government of Boris Johnson is studying the possibility of granting a thousand visas to foreign workers in the chronic sector in the face of opposition from the Secretary of the Interior, Priti Patel
From the queues at gas stations to the “jam” of pigs on British farms due to lack of personnel in slaughterhouses. The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has launched an SOS in the absence of about 15,000 workers in the sector, which threatens to empty the shelves in supermarkets and to create an especially cruel situation in the treatment of animals.
The president of the National Pork Association, Rob Mutimer,has warned that the country faces a “mass sacrifice” of animals if the situation does not change. “We have a” reserve “of 100,000 to 120,000 pigs growing on the order of 12,000 every week“Mutimer warned in statements to BBC radio.” This is happening on all farms in the country: there is a lack of labor to process the meat and we lack space for the animals “.
The own association of the pig assures that the situation can cause “a serious disaster of animal welfare”. According to Mutimer, farmers may be forced to shoot pigs or take them directly to slaughterhouses for slaughter, burial or incineration, instead of processing their meat to enter the food chain.
“We are holding the pigs in the reserve as long as we can,” Mutimer added. “Many of them have already exceeded the ideal weight (25 kilos), but we cannot do anything with them and we are running out of space on the farms, and a problem of animal welfare and public health is already being created, because cages they are not designed for animals of that size. “
The Boris Johnson government studies the possibility of granting a thousand visas to foreign workers of the chronic sector and to lower some of the demands introduced by the new and restrictive immigration system by points introduced after Brexit. The Home Secretary Priti Patel opposes the measure, while the chronic industry ensures that the number of visas is clearly insufficient to alleviate the situation.
“Since June and July we should have been producing the food that has to reach the stores at Christmas, but we have not done so this year, so the lack of products will be inevitable,” warns the BMPA in a statement. The association acknowledges that it has tried to fill vacancies in slaughterhouses and meat processing plants with British workers, but that it is not being possible even with an increase in wages (around 43,000 euros gross per year).
The 80% of staff of meat processing plants like those in Hull in the north of England come from Eastern Europe before Brexit. “At this time, we usually recruit from 10% to 15% more staff heading into Christmas, however 15% of workers are what we now lack“declared Nick Allen of the BMPA.
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