British meat carcasses are now being exported to the EU for butchering - before then being transported back to the UK for sale - due to the UK's labour shortage.

This morning (Thursday, November 4), Nick Allen of the British Meat Processors' Association confirmed that British meat companies are paying EU processors to do the cutting and packing work that was previously done in the UK.

Despite there being labour shortages in Europe, Ireland and the Netherlands, where much of the meat is going, have access to a huge pool of skilled EU labour.

The export and subsequent import of meat is adding an extra £1,500 in costs per lorryload of carcasses.

In the UK there is a shortage of 15,000 meat processors, including abattoir staff and butchers.

The government has offered 800 temporary emergency visas for pork butchers.