Lack of additional temporary visas for foreign butchers has been announced. Government As part of the support package following industry demands for intervention on labor shortages.
The warning comes after up to 150,000 pigs could be destroyed as waste, as a shortage of labor in meat processing has created a backlog of animals ready for slaughter.
The measures announced by the government on Thursday include up to 800 visas for butchers to come to the UK for six months.
Under the plans, there will also be funding for additional meat storage, measures to introduce animal processing on Saturdays, and the possibility of longer working hours.
Vice President of the National Farming Union Tom Bradshaw He said the visa announcement was “a step in the right direction”.
The government said the pig industry has been challenged by the epidemic in recent months and its export approval has been temporarily suspended. China For some UK pig companies.
The government says there is a backlog of pigs waiting to be slaughtered because of these problems.
Secretary Environment. George Justus. He said: “A unique range of pressure on the pig sector in recent months, such as epidemics and its impact on export markets, has led to a temporary package of measures that we are announcing today.
“It’s the result of working closely with the industry so we can understand how we can help them in this difficult time.”
Mr Brad Shaw told Times Radio: “We really welcome the recognition of how serious the problem is. The 800 visa is a step in the right direction that will help get things back on track. And I think that Now, for us, the important thing is how fast can we get these butchers here?
He added: “I’m glad that no matter how challenging it is, we know that George Estes is really fighting for the industry from the corner. He has managed to get it on the line. And we have to implement it now. Is needed, as I say, as soon as possible, and there can be no delay in issuing these visas.
With the current allotment in the Season Workers Pilot Scheme, 800 pig butchers will be eligible to apply for six-month visas by December 31.
The government said the move was temporary and was in addition to foreign butchers who are eligible before December 2020 to apply to come to the UK through a skilled worker.
In addition, a fund will be set up in England for a private storage aid system to allow meat processors to store slaughtered pigs for three to six months so that they can be stored and processed at a later date.
The government said details of the fund would be announced soon.
A spokesman for the National Pig Association said: “We are very relieved that the government has finally taken some steps to reduce the significant backlog of pigs in the fields.
“We are working with processors to understand the implications of these new measures and to determine what happens next, and how soon, so that we can give pig farmers some hope and a healthy pig.” Stop the flow. Fields. “
The Liberal Democrats called the support package a “half-baked and insufficient” visa scheme.
Two meat levy bodies, for England and Scotland Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and Quality Mate Scotland (QMS) have announced a pork levy holiday that will suspend payments to levy pig farmers and producers will pay for November.
The government said it would save less than 1 1 million for the sector alone.
The government has said it wants the industry to improve working conditions and training in the UK, and to invest in technology to meet its wage needs.