The Prime Minister has been accused of failing to seriously understand the grave situation farmers are in as they are facing “extremely difficult circumstances.”
Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme, Boris Johnson seemed to be completely unaware of the problems farmers are facing.
Johnson initially told Marr, “I hate to break it to you but I am afraid our food processing industry does involve the killing of a lot of animals. I think your viewers need to understand that.”
Marr informed Johnson that the problem farmers are facing is that once their cattle are culled they cannot be sold for food as they will be disposed of, then he accused the Prime Minister of “trying to obfuscate.”
Johnson simply replied with, “The great hecatomb of pigs that you describe has not yet taken place, let’s see what happens.”
Nick Allen, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association warned that farmers are facing “extremely difficult circumstances.”
Allen told PA news agency, “It is heart-breaking. It is an incredibly distressing situation to find yourself in.
“You are doing your best to look after the animals even though they are growing, you are running out of pens, you are running out of space and you have a massive cash flow problem. It is a nightmare scenario.”
Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary Luke Pollard said that Johnson’s remarks shows that his Ministers are “out of touch” with the serious issues within the industry.
Pollard said, “The Prime Minister needs to take this seriously.
“The government’s incompetence and chaotic lack of planning is about to lead to the biggest peacetime cull of pigs.
Allen added that the problems are down to the Home Office with their refusal to allow skilled foreign workers into the UK.
Ministers have said that the issues are down to companies unwillingness to pay higher salaries to attract British workers, and that there has also been a lack of investment into the sector.
However Allen slammed this idea and said, “The idea that we have just been dependent on cheap labour, we haven’t been investing in infrastructure, is utter nonsense.
“It is lot more complicated than that. Even though we have increased wages quite dramatically, we are still not getting people wanting to do that job.”