Pig cull figures painful reading for proud Yorkshire farmers - The Yorkshire Post says

If there is one thing farmers in Yorkshire and across the country can be counted on for, even in the in the face of ever-growing costs and pressures that threaten their survival, it is the pride they take in their work.

For those communities, it will be horrendous to hear of today’s damning report describing how a lack of farm workers “caused by Brexit and exacerbated by Covid-19” meant 35,000 pigs were slaughtered and crops left to rot in the fields.

Its authors at the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee have urged the Government to have a “radical rethink” after condemning ministers, including Environment Secretary George Eustice and Home Office Minister Kevin Foster, for failing to understand and engage with growing labour shortage problems in the agricultural industry.

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These are issues that community in Yorkshire knows all too well – and now exacerbated by fuel and fertiliser costs.

A demonstration outside the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) office in York, as farmers warn that pig industry faces 'devastation' on February 10, 2022. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

For example late last year Kate Morgan and her sister Vicky, the second generation of their family to farm pigs near Driffield, said they had lost hundreds of thousands of pounds because of abattoir labour shortages, which meant they have to keep the pigs longer – animals which needed feeding but are worth less the bigger they grow.

Speaking to TYP again two months on in February, Vicky said they “really struggled very hard to not have to cull ourselves” as fellow farmers had, but amid an exodus of workers in the industry, the family was looking seriously at whether it could survive in the industry.

The committee’s call to the Government should likewise be one for Ministers to take seriously.

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Brexit woes pile pressure on business and farming - Yorkshire Post Letters