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Flu vaccine advice

A swine influenza expert has advised that it is a good idea for those working with pigs to have the flu vaccine.

It will obviously protect producers and their workforce but can also reduce the chance of reverse-zoonosis, where humans can infect pigs with human influenza. If pigs become infected with human influenza there is a potential risk for virus reassortment and generating novel viruses.

The flu virus H3N2 has not been detected in GB pigs since 1997, so pigs are essentially immunologically naïve to this strain, whereas H3N2 circulates in the UK human population.

<insert name>MP

House of Commons

Westminster

London

SW1A 0AA

Dear Mr/Mrs XXXX MP,

 

Impact of COVID-19 on pig welfare

 

I am a pig farmer in your constituency and I am writing to make you aware of an increasingly critical problem we are facing as a result of COVID-19’s impact on the meat processing industry.

 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the meat processing industry in the UK has been hit hard by outbreaks of the virus causing a loss of production capacity due to severe staff shortages. The cold, wet and enclosed conditions at processing plants has resulted in many more cases in comparison to other workplace environments, where the virus is less likely to thrive. This in turn has had a very significant impact on pig farms like mine and many others across the country.

 

Staff shortages at processing plants have resulted in either complete shutdowns or significantly reduced throughput. This has caused a supply chain problem as pigs are left behind on farms because the processors cannot take them. As you will be aware, more pigs are born every week so this is quickly leading to issues with a lack of space, which will become a critical animal welfare problem if not resolved soon. Whilst we have contingency plans in place to deal with short term disruption, this will only hold for a few weeks and we have now been affected for [INSERT TIMEFRAME].  

 

We do have some light at the end of the tunnel however in the form of the new COVID-19 vaccine, and it is this that I am writing to you, to ask for your assistance with. Once the most vulnerable people and those working on the front line of our health services and care homes have received the COVID-19 vaccine, it would be hugely beneficial for Britain’s food supply and animal welfare if the meat processing workforce were prioritised in the next tranche.

 

Further outbreaks at any of the larger processing plants would be devastating for pig farmers who are already at breaking point with the backlog of livestock waiting to enter the supply chain. This increasing backlog will inevitably lead to significant animal welfare compromises. The sooner a vaccine can be given to food processing staff to prevent further outbreaks and shutdowns, the quicker the industry can return to full capacity and reverse the issues that I and many other pig farmers are facing.

 

I would be enormously grateful if you could raise this matter with the Defra Secretary of State, George Eustice, and ask him to press the case with the Minister for COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment, Nadhim Zahawi, and the Department for Health and Social Care.

 

I thank you in advance for your support and I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Yours sincerely,

<insert name>MP

House of Commons

Westminster

London

SW1A 0AA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Mr/Mrs XXXX MP,

 

Impact of COVID-19 on pig welfare

 

I am a pig farmer in your constituency and I am writing to make you aware of an increasingly critical problem we are facing as a result of COVID-19’s impact on the meat processing industry.

 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the meat processing industry in the UK has been hit hard by outbreaks of the virus causing a loss of production capacity due to severe staff shortages. The cold, wet and enclosed conditions at processing plants has resulted in many more cases in comparison to other workplace environments, where the virus is less likely to thrive. This in turn has had a very significant impact on pig farms like mine and many others across the country.

 

Staff shortages at processing plants have resulted in either complete shutdowns or significantly reduced throughput. This has caused a supply chain problem as pigs are left behind on farms because the processors cannot take them. As you will be aware, more pigs are born every week so this is quickly leading to issues with a lack of space, which will become a critical animal welfare problem if not resolved soon. Whilst we have contingency plans in place to deal with short term disruption, this will only hold for a few weeks and we have now been affected for [INSERT TIMEFRAME].  

 

We do have some light at the end of the tunnel however in the form of the new COVID-19 vaccine, and it is this that I am writing to you, to ask for your assistance with. Once the most vulnerable people and those working on the front line of our health services and care homes have received the COVID-19 vaccine, it would be hugely beneficial for Britain’s food supply and animal welfare if the meat processing workforce were prioritised in the next tranche.

 

Further outbreaks at any of the larger processing plants would be devastating for pig farmers who are already at breaking point with the backlog of livestock waiting to enter the supply chain. This increasing backlog will inevitably lead to significant animal welfare compromises. The sooner a vaccine can be given to food processing staff to prevent further outbreaks and shutdowns, the quicker the industry can return to full capacity and reverse the issues that I and many other pig farmers are facing.

 

I would be enormously grateful if you could raise this matter with the Defra Secretary of State, George Eustice, and ask him to press the case with the Minister for COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment, Nadhim Zahawi, and the Department for Health and Social Care.

 

I thank you in advance for your support and I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Yours sincerely,