United Kingdom

Supply Crisis: Overseas Butcher and Slaughterhouse Workers Get 6 Months Seasonal Worker Visas to Address Raw Pigs | UK News

The government has announced that it will grant workers in overseas butchers and slaughterhouses a seasonal worker visa to deal with the unprocessed portion of pigs that need to be slaughtered.

Secretary of Agriculture George Eustice said about 800 pigs from abroad would be needed to avoid the mass slaughter of up to 150,000 pigs.

He expects to see the butchers arrive in November and they are eligible to apply for a 6-month visa from the existing quota of the Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme to December 31st.

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This is temporary and will be added to foreign butchers who are eligible to apply to come to the UK through existing skilled workers routes after December 2020.

Eustice also announced that the slaughterhouse will be offered a Private Storage Aid (PSA). This allows slaughterhouses to temporarily store pork before it hits the market and clears the backlog.

PSA is a taxpayer-funded market intervention scheme that frees up funds for slaughtered pigs to be raised in private refrigeration stores.

The government has also changed the rules regarding cabotage (loading and unloading goods in one country) so that UK EU truck drivers can travel as much as they like in two weeks.

However, Eustice said the requirement for butchers to be fluent in English could not be withdrawn as expected.

The National Pig Association (NPA), which represents the majority of affected farmers, said the butcher’s requirement to speak English was the “last obstructor” but welcomed the intervention.

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The announcement came after a meeting on Monday with farmers, processors, and the government’s recently appointed supply chain adviser, Sir Dave Lewis.

An NPA spokesman said:

“We work with processors to understand the implications of these new measures and determine exactly what is happening now and how quickly it will happen. This gives hope to pig farmers and gives them hope. You can stop the flow of healthy pigs that currently have to be sorted. Farm. “

Thousands of pigs have already been sorted And their bodies were incinerated on farms all over England, NPA said Wednesday.

Workers in the British pig farming sector protest outside the Conservative Party Convention in Manchester, England, on October 4, 2021. REUTERS / Toby Melville
image:
British pig farming workers protested outside the Conservative Party convention in early October

Due to the shortage of butchers, there were warnings that there were too many pigs on the farm and 10,000 pigs had to be destroyed each week.

The Secretary of Agriculture said the loss of staff from the pig farming industry “has nothing to do with Brexit.”

He states: “This is a complicated situation. There are many market turmoil, problems with access to the Chinese market, and perhaps overproduction. Here production is up about 7%. Yes, the workforce is a deteriorating factor. , Not so. It was the only factor.

“In common with many parts of the pig farming industry, and the food industry, we lost as many staff as many EU citizens who relied on the left during the pandemic. It has nothing to do with Brexit.

“They had the right to stay, but many of them chose to return with their families during difficult times.
Pandemic. “

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The shortage of butchers affects about 1,400 farms that supply 90% of British pork through contracts with major processors.

Supply Crisis: Overseas Butcher and Slaughterhouse Workers Get 6 Months Seasonal Worker Visas to Address Raw Pigs | UK News

SourceSupply Crisis: Overseas Butcher and Slaughterhouse Workers Get 6 Months Seasonal Worker Visas to Address Raw Pigs | UK News

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