Great Britain's pig herd is growing
Great Britain's pig herd has been growing for
the first time in ten years, the British Department of Agriculture, Food and
Rural Affairs (Defra) announced.
In July 2006 there were 1.8% more pigs than in the same period last year.
In 2005 the number of pigs was 4.8 million, this year the pig herd grew to 5
million head, Defra
This is the first upturn for four years and follows six years of overall
British Pig Executive (BPEX
) chairman Stewart Houston said the British pig industry
is turning the corner now. "In-pig gilts and maiden gilts are showing an
increase and so far this year the number of cull sows has been down. Coupled
with the productivity gains we are seeing, this bodes well for the future
availability of slaughter pigs. It is good to see farmers are investing in
replacement breeding stock which indicates a measure of confidence in the
The British pig industry has been facing very strict welfare rules from the
1990s onwards. For this reason, production prices rose and many pig producers
could not compete with imported pork from the Netherlands and Denmark. The
misery was increased by swine fever (2000) and FMD outbreaks
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