Who thought the sunlit uplands, post-Brexit, would look like this?
Vegetables rotting in the fields, meat being incinerated, and millions using food banks or even going hungry
— David__Osland (@David__Osland) October 6, 2021
And now we’re being told that potentially 100,000 pigs will be killed – not for their meat, but because there is a nationwide shortage of butchers and abattoir workers.
According to Sky News,
The crisis has been blamed on an exodus of eastern European workers, many of whom returned to their home countries after Covid-19 travel restrictions were eased but have not returned.
That has meant the abattoirs where they worked are operating at as much as 20% below capacity – unable to take as many pigs as normal – leaving farms overcrowded.
The UK faces a shortage of pigs in blankets this Christmas as a lack of butchers threatens to disrupt supplies of pork, industry leaders have said.
Over to our pigs-in-blankets correspondent, Katy Brand:
Culling healthy pigs while also warning of a shortage of pork products on the shelves is genuinely the maddest shit I have ever seen. Brexit is insane. I am never going to be bamboozled into believing otherwise. Honestly, the maddest shit I have ever seen.
— Katy Brand (@KatyFBrand) October 5, 2021
At least nobody is trying to blame this crisis on Covid-19.
The shortage of butchers and abattoir workers represents a significant threat to the UK economy.
How much is a pig worth? How about 100,000 – or 150,000, as we’re now hearing the losses rumoured to be?
A lot of money, This Writer would reckon.
My neighbour farms 2500 cows over 3 farms. He voted for Brexit. Today he shared his concern for other farmers and the future of farming. His words were “it’s all very disturbing and costs are spiralling”. He regrets voting for Brexit
— James Rees (@JamesRees_PCC) October 6, 2021
And James Rees’s neighbour isn’t the only one. Here‘s Peter Mortimer, 73, whose pigs aren’t ready for slaughter and will therefore miss the currently-mooted cull, but who
said rising costs and a lack of local labour were among issues that had made his business in Metfield, Suffolk, “unsustainable”.
“It’s about time he [Boris Johnson] realised action is needed immediately to sort this problem out,” said Mr Mortimer.
“He doesn’t understand or doesn’t want to understand the situation – he’s lost the plot.”
Asked why he was bowing out, he said: “There have been a few issues, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was that I needed to employ some more staff, and I advertised locally and I got no response at all.
“The job involves getting your hands dirty – like abattoir work – and people don’t want to get involved.
“We’ve also got high feed prices – wheat passed £200 a ton on Friday, and its unsustainable to feed pigs, with the prices we’re getting [for them], for any length of time.”
The knock-on effects are frightening. The abattoirs are losing money, as is every other business along the chain from farmer to plate.
And those of us who enjoy a nice slice of pork, or bacon, or gammon, or sausage, or – yes – pigs in blankets will end up going without.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson and his Brexiteer friends are still saying Brexit will bring enormous benefits to the whole nation.
I have a doubt, though.
How will our businesses prosper if they have all gone bust because of Boris Johnson’s short-sightedness?
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