English pig herd shrinks
In the year to June 30th, 2015, the total number of pigs in England decreased by 3.2% to 3.8 million animals. The fall was mainly driven by the drop in the number of fattening pigs, down 3.6% to 3.4 million in 2015. The breeding herd showed very little change compared to a year ago at 328,000 animals.
The statistics come from the 2015 June survey of agriculture and horticulture by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Defra. Compared to 2013, the total number of pigs is almost 6% lower while the breeding herd is 5% down over that period of time. The female breeding herd this year comprises 232,000 sows in pig, 43,000 gilts in pig and 52,000 other pigs.
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In other livestock sectors, the total number of sheep and lamb decreased by 1.6% to 15.1 million making England still one of the major countries for sheep in Europe. Defra only publishes figures for England since the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own department for agriculture.
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