The UK government has confirmed a ‘short-term’ bailout to the meat industry following ongoing CO2 shortages.
Since meat processors warned ‘Christmas could be canceled’ without CO2, which is used to slaughter animals, amid hiking prices, a three-week agreement has now been struck.
CF Fertilisers stopped food-grade CO2 supplies this month, cutting off supplies to the food industry. It’s the country’s largest producer, and as a result, the government agreed to cover operating costs, Politico reports.
According to reports, this is in the ‘low tens of millions’, the news outlet added.
Leading trade body, The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) confirmed it is working closely with the government on the ’emergency plan.
In a statement, the BMPA said it is focussing on getting meat production back on track. This came after it was ‘in danger’ of halting 25 percent of its usual pork production.
‘Once this immediate crisis is averted, we will be suggesting that Government, with the help of ours and other sectors, does a comprehensive review of how our modern supply chains have evolved and where vulnerabilities have crept in.
‘This will form the basis of future solutions so we can avoid this situation in the future’, the organization added.
Why does the meat industry rely on CO2?
The meat industry uses CO2 to gas animals before killing them, in a technique widely described by campaigners as inhumane.
This involves lowering pigs and birds into chambers until they lose consciousness.
Siobhan Dolan of leading UK vegan charity, Viva! says it causes ‘horrendous suffering’, and calls for an end to the controversial practice.