Hundreds of healthy pigs have been killed after a shortage of workers nationwide left UK farms overcrowded with animals that could not be sent for slaughter.

Hundreds of perfectly healthy pigs slaughtered due to lack of workers in UK slaughterhouses


The National Association of Pigs (NPA) said at least 600 pigs had been killed – and it is feared that the blockade in the meat processing industry could affect up to 150,000 animals. NPA chief executive Zoe Davies told Sky News that she spoke to workers devastated by the thought of having to slaughter the pigs, which has been talked about for weeks: “It’s the animals they raised.” fed, cared for. To actually kill something that is perfectly healthy and then be thrown away – it’s just a criminal act. ”

The crisis was blamed on an exodus of workers from Eastern Europe. Many returned to their home countries after COVID-19 travel restrictions were relaxed. That meant the slaughterhouses they worked in were up to 20 percent below capacity, leaving farms overcrowded, according to Sky News.

Despite the average wages, there is no labor force

Ms Davies said there were few signs that the situation was improving, although slaughterhouses were still struggling to recruit butchers, despite average salaries of £ 37,500 for such a job. Employers in the UK can no longer recruit freely from Europe under post-Brexit immigration rules. Temporary visas, which are issued to workers in the poultry and transport sectors to fill the gaps in these industries, have also not been offered for pig processing.

She also described the despair felt by farmers as more severe than that experienced during previous outbreaks of the disease, when a large number of animals had to be killed, as the current stalemate has no purpose.

The lack of workers in food processing is just one element of the labor shortage that has an effect on the entire economy. Empty supermarket shelves and lack of products are among the symptoms of a complex crisis.

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