Christmas saved but pig farmers at their 'wit’s end' over butcher shortage

15 October 2021, 12:36 | Updated: 15 October 2021, 15:38

By Amelia Isaacs

This pig farmer tells LBC the world 'can't believe what a mess' the UK is in amid labour shortages.

Sheffield pig farmer told LBC today that the industry is at its "wit’s end" due to an extreme shortage of butchers. 

Stephen Thompson said that help was needed quickly, criticising the government for taking six months to solve the issue.

The government are looking to bring in around 800 EU meat workers in November after a change in decisions about migrant labour.

Thompson said: "It’ll still save Christmas with pigs in blankets, and anything is a sliver of hope. We need it to happen now though." 

According to Thompson, there are "highly skilled, highly paid" butchers who want to come to the UK to work, but are being stopped by visas.

He said: “We don’t need government committees drawing up paperwork. We need these people invited in now.

"We had Danish, German and Japanese TV here on the farm because the rest of the world can’t believe what a mess we’re in. 

"It really does need sorting and it needs sorting now."

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