MASSES of super-fat pigs face being “shot on the farm” and dumped because of a shortage of butchers, it was revealed yesterday.
Pig farm leaders said 110,000 swine will have to be culled unless 1,000 staff can be signed up from overseas.
But Downing Street said there was no need to relax visa rules for meat workers as they are already on a skills shortage list — provided they can speak English.
The National Pig Association said swine are normally slaughtered when they reach 115kg but are now nearing 140kg because there are too few butchers.
Chairman Rob Mutimer said the creatures were getting too big for their pens and a “mass cull” was only weeks away.
It would involve “shooting pigs on the farm, or taking them to an abattoir” before dumping them in skips. “It’s a travesty,” said Mr Mutimer.
The Traditional Farm-fresh Turkey Association, meanwhile, said unprecedented staff shortages could threaten the supply of Christmas birds.
Chairwoman Kate Martin said small farms selling direct to customers would get by with local workers but supermarket supplies were likely to suffer.
Tesco has said there could be pre-Christmas panic-buying if the lorry driver shortage drags on.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has demanded Parliament be recalled to discuss staff shortages.
But Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has accused some firms of using staff shortfalls to press for visas for cheaper overseas labour rather than paying decent wages.
He said some businesses were trying to force the Government into the pre-Brexit “old ways”.
He said: “Having rejected the low-wage, high-immigration model, we were always going to try to transition to something else.”
Ministers have already announced a visa scheme for 5,000 HGV drivers and 5,500 poultry workers on three-month contracts to keep shelves stocked and tackle the fuel delivery crisis.
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