Visas given to 800 foreign butchers to help UK pig crisis

Visas given to 800 foreign butchers to help UK pig crisis

The Government has announced that six-month emergency visas will be offered to 800 foreign butchers and abattoir workers to clear the pig backlog.

Foreign butchers had been eligible to work in the UK after Brexit under the Skilled Worker visa scheme but many did not qualify for the permit due to the English-language requirement.

However, farmers had warned that as many as 100,000 pigs would be culled, incinerated and disposed of – if the Government did not help tackle the labour shortage.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “What we’re going to do is allow butchers in abattoirs and meat processors dealing with pigs, to be able to come in on a temporary basis under the Seasonal Worker scheme for up to six months.”

Photos of animals living in over-crowded sheds were sent to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and ministers to show the extent of the crisis.

Thousands of pigs have been left in cramped conditions and 6,000 have been culled and their meat wasted due to the backlog.

Severe stress has been placed on the sector with 150,000 pigs being kept on farms that should have entered the food chain.

Mr Eustice said the Government believes that around 800 foreign butchers are needed to clear the backlog in the UK.

LSL News.