UK annual livestock : Boost in slaughter numb...
UK annual livestock

Boost in slaughter numbers despite staff shortage

IMAGO / imagebroker
Free-range pigs in Suffolk, England.
Free-range pigs in Suffolk, England.

UNITED KINGDOM, Kenilworth. Brexit has caused a noticeable decline in U.K.'s pork imports from the E.U. By contrast, domestic production has reached its highest volume in more than 20 years.

Last year, the U.K. slaughter industry complained of staff shortages while struggling to slaughter and process the finished animals in time. According to a report by the U.K.'s Agriculture and Horticulture Sales Development Board (AHDB), more pigs were processed than in the previous year despite these difficulties.

The total number of slaughtered pigs increased by about 2% in 2021 compared to 2020. Because slaughter weights were significantly higher, pork production reached its highest production level since 1999 with an increase of 4% to 1.02 million t. This increase was partly caused by staff shortages at slaughterhouses and processing plants, leading to a backlog of animals.

The annual statistics on the number of livestock in England also reflect the effect of staff shortage where pig population totaled at 4.09 million animals, a rise of 9% in the year-on-year comparison and the highest since 2002.

This boost of 10.6% was entirely due to the number of fattening pigs not being processed in time. By contrast, the number of female breeding herds decreased by 6.9% to 295,000 animals within the year. Overall, an ongoing rise in the production level is unlikely, even if the data only represents the numbers for England.

Source:, AgE


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