Vets warning over looming mass pig cull

Vets warning over looming mass pig cull

Vets working to tackle pigs’ overcrowding in farms have said Prime Minister Boris Johnson is not taking the abattoir labour shortage seriously, and that ‘mass culling’ could soon be the only option left.

Duncan Berkshire, a vet in charge of liasing with the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs to manage the pigs’ overcrowding, said pigs are not being slaughtered fast enough.

His warning came a day after the PM told a BBC 4 journalist: “Those pigs, when you ate them, were not alive. I’ve got to break it to you.”

‘Abhorrent food wastage’

Mr Berkshire told Radio 4: “He is unable to see the difference between what we have as a UK supply chain… (and) the absolute abhorrent food wastage that will be the case if we end up having to shoot healthy pigs.”

Farms are struggling to control the crowding of pigs, with the problem linked to a shortage of abattoir workers post-Brexit.

Some 600 pigs have already been shot, the National Pig Association said and there are fears farmers will be forced to shoot many thousands of healthy pigs.

Its chief executive, Zoe Davies, urged the  government needs to lower the abattoir labour eligibility and ease English language requirements.

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