"Running Out Of Space" - UK Farmers To Cull 120,000 Pigs Amid Labor Shortages At Slaughterhouses

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Oct 03, 2021 - 08:45 AM

Britain may be entering a prolonged period of crisis now, one that may be on par or even exceeds the emergencies of the late 1970s. Brits face a gasoline shortage because of the lack of truck drivers, dwindling natural gas supplies, and soaring power bills. There's also been food shortages and panic buying of essential goods that have driven up prices and made the situation much worse. 

A more extended crisis is occurring within the country's food supply chain. The latest figures from the National Pig Association (NPA) warn 120,000 pigs will be culled because of labor shortage.

Chair of NPA told BBC Radio 4's: 

"We are within a couple of weeks of having to consider a mass cull of animals in this country. We think our backlog is in the region of 100,000 to 120,000 as we stand today. And it is growing by around 12,000 a week. This is happening on pig farms all over the country; they are backed up and running out of space to keep animals."

A labor shortage at slaughterhouses driven by Brexit, and the virus pandemic, which reduced slaughter rates by as much as 25%, is the culprit to the glut of pigs.

"The only option for some will be to cull pigs on-farm, which is something that we have tried our utmost to avoid," Mutimer said. "Not only would this be an incredible waste of healthy pigs and good pork, but it would also be financially ruinous and incredibly damaging for your supply chains."

"The problem in the industry has got considerably worse over the last three weeks," he added.

Last month, slaughterhouses were disrupted by a shortage of carbon dioxide to stun animals created a severe backlog. CO2 is a byproduct of fertilizer, and two major factories that produced the nutrients were shut down due to skyrocketing wholesale natural gas production. The government has since intervened and restarted at least one plant. 

The food industry is just one of the many industries experiencing severe disruptions and chaos that could trigger a "winter of discontent" for many Brits.