The severe labor shortage that has hit the UK in the past few months has reportedly forced local meat processors to export carcasses for butchering and then transport them back to Britain for sale.
The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) warned back in September of the likely need to send meat abroad for scraping.
“This process is now happening,” the trade association said via its Twitter account.
The measure comes amid a serious shortage of labor, which has been attributed to both the Covid-19 pandemic and outward migration after the UK’s departure from the European Union.
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According to the BMPA, beef is currently being sent to the Republic of Ireland, while pork producers have been exporting pigs to the Netherlands for butchering and packing.
The introduction of post-Brexit controls on the import of food and animal products to the UK has been delayed until July 2022, but meat exported from Britain has to undergo checks in the EU.
The BMPA said this would add an extra £1,500 of costs for each lorry-load of carcasses, and, moreover, that produce transported in this way was not permitted to be labeled as British if it was intended for sale in the UK.
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Due to the severe shortage of staff at abattoirs and meat-processing plants, nearly 10,000 animals have so far had to be disposed of before reaching the food chain, according to a statement issued by the National Pig Association. It said staff numbers in the sector were down by some 15%.
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