A North-east MP has said Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s response to the crisis facing the pig industry when pressed on the BBC Andrew Marr Show yesterday (Sunday) was “simply beyond belief”.
During the interview, Andrew Marr put it to the Prime Minister that “120,000 pigs are going to have to be killed and incinerated if there is no answer to the shortage of abattoir workers . . . in the next ten days. That would be the single biggest cull of healthy animals ever to happen in the history of British agriculture. You have ten days to deal with that, what are you going to do?”
Responding, Boris Johnson said: “I, I, I hate to break it to you Andrew, but, erm, I’m afraid the . . . our food processing industry does involve the, erm, killing a lot of animals, that is um the reality. Viewers need to understand that, that’s just what happens.”
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s comments, Gordon MP Richard Thomson said:
“These uncaring remarks from the Prime Minister when faced with questions on national television about how he was going to help the pig industry overcome the difficulties it currently faces are simply beyond belief. It shows Boris Johnson is not taking the issue seriously.
“If anyone was in any doubt about the Conservative Party’s attitude to our farming industry, the livelihoods it supports, and the food it puts on our plates, this interview confirmed that they just do not care so long as they “get Brexit done”.
“I have pressed the UK Government to act on the recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee who nearly a year ago advised that butchers and slaughterhouse workers should be put on the Shortage Occupation List. The Home Office dismissed that request out of hand last month and now we see the consequences of their failure to act on warnings from the industry.
“It seems this Prime Minister is content to turn a deaf ear, a blind eye and allow a massive animal welfare and environmental disaster unfold, as well as see the pig industry brought to the brink of extinction.”