The Britains government on Thursday said it will offer 800 short-term work permits to pork butchers, according to Bloomberg, after repeated requests from the industry to ease immigration rules.
The government will also enable meat processors to store slaughtered pugs for up to six months in a bid to ease up pressure on farms, reported Bloomberg. The move will allow the industry to preserve the slaughtered meat for a longer period and process it later on.
The coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic and Brexit have led to a shortage of workers up to a point that thousands of animals had to be culled on farms.
The UK’s National Pig Association said that the industry continues to be in a “very difficult phase” but the latest measure shows the government has finally listened.”
It said in a statement “The NPA believes that around 6,000 pigs have been culled so far on farms due to space pressures, which are continuing,”. “But this will help and it shows the Government, finally, has listened.”
According to Bloomberg, about 120,000 pigs had nowhere to go at the start of October which could have resulted in massive “welfare” culls. Such measures are taken to ease pressure on farms but the animals are killed to use them as pet food instead of pork.
NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said in a statement that the announcement aimed at reducing the significant pig backlog on farms has come as a huge relief.
Davies said ,”We are working with the processors to understand the impact of these new measures and to determine exactly what will happen now, and how quickly, so that we can give pig farmers some hope and stem the flow of healthy pigs currently having to be culled on farms”.