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Pig numbers hit 24-year low in Poland

Pig numbers in Poland have fallen to 15.7million, a level unseen in the country since 1984.

"The decrease in numbers has been caused by falling pig prices and growing feed prices, leading to many farmers giving up rearing animals and sows being killed. It will take up to two years to reach former levels" explains Jerzy Majchrzak, of Polish meat producing company, Sokolow.

Throughout Eastern Europe there has been a drop in pig numbers. In the Czech Republic there is a reported 14% drop from the 2007. The country has also had to increase imports of the animals in order to meet domestic demand. They have imported 130 000t of pigmeat in the past year, eight times more than in 2001.

The latest Canadian livestock census also shows a decline in the Canadian pork industry, with pig numbers falling 19% between July 2007 and the same month in 2008. The figures reflect an increasing trend towards shipping feeder pigs to the USA and the financial incentive for farmers to reduce the national herd sizes provided by the federal Cull Breeding Swine programme.

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