RABI and FCN offer support for the pig sector at time of crisis
18th Oct 2021 / By Alistair Driver
Leading farming charity, RABI, has announced the immediate availability of additional support to those affected by the current British pig industry crisis.
Supplementing RABI’s existing package of practical and financial support, and in response to the enormous emotional impacts of the crisis, the charity has introduced access to in-person professional counselling support.
RABI's Big Farming Survey, published last week, confirmed high levels of poor mental health exist across agriculture, with data highlighting particularly high depression rates in the specialist pigs’ sector - 47% of pig farming respondents said they were 'probably or possibly depressed'.
RABI corporate partnership Mmanager, Suzy Deeley, explained how the charity has been able to establish this service so quickly.
“The survey highlighted these concerns even before the current crisis. Therefore, developing bespoke, in-person counselling support to supplement existing services already available in some areas of the county, and ensuring this is available on-demand consistently across England and Wales, has been a focus for the charity over recent months,” Ms Deeley adds.
“The worsening situation and potential of on-farm culls has led to this in-person support being made available immediately.
"All those working in the pig sector can access this, along with any of our services, on our confidential 24-hour helpline, 0800 188 4444.”
NPA chief executive Zoe Davies welcomed RABI’s response to members’ plight. “These are the hardest times pig producers have faced for over 20 years and it is putting incredible emotional strain on them," she said.
"The additional support from RABI has come at a time when our industry really needs it. It is so important that we look after ourselves and others so we would encourage anyone feeling overwhelmed to reach out for the support available."
- For anybody who would prefer online counselling, or other mental wellbeing support, RABI’s online platform can be accessed anonymously at any time of day and night, and also provides remote counselling through a chat function – www.rabi.org.uk/kooth.
FCN adds its support
The Farming Community Network (FCN) is doing its bit to support the pig sector, with a video featuring a livestock farmer talking about the challenges affecting the industry and it can help.
The video, which can be viewed here, featuring sheep and cattle farmer and FCN volunteer Leighton Snelgrove, serves as a reminder to everyone across agriculture that FCN and other support organisations are available to listen and support, and that no one is dealing with the challenges facing the sector alone, such as labour shortages and supply chain complications.
In the video, Mr Snelgrove said: “There’s a huge crisis occurring in the pig industry today. A lack of staff in abattoirs, a lack of HGV drivers, the post-CO2 problem and the cost of pork per kilo – it’s all having a huge impact on pig farmers and the wider industry. This is now resulting in pig farmers not choosing to – but having to – cull young, healthy pigs.
“FCN is aware of the problem, and we want to reassure pig farmers, the vets, the slaughterhouse workers and others in the industry that we are here to talk to, to reassure you, and to walk with you during this time.”
Jude McCann, FCN’s Chief Executive Officer, also said: “FCN is here to support everyone in the farm community. We recognise the particular pressures currently on our pig industry, food processors and poultry sector and the issues this is causing for farmers, vets and others across the supply chain.
"We are all part of the same agricultural community and none of us are alone in dealing with these issues. Our volunteers are farming people and they understand the unique pressures involved in agriculture. We’re here to help.”
- If you are struggling or know someone who is, you can contact FCN confidentially on 03000 111 999 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org