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Denmark Faces Challenge over Live Pig Exports

25 November 2014

DENMARK - The Danish pig industry is facing a fight as slaughter numbers are declining and more and more live pigs are being sent out of the country for finishing and slaughter.

In 2010, Denmark slaughtered 20,243,996 pigs in domestic slaughterhouses. Last year, the figure had dropped to 19,074,305, and the figure is continuing to fall.

At the same time the number of piglets going for export has risen from 7,515,047 to 9,706,533 – a rise of 11.6 per cent.

“Slaughter numbers are going down and if we don’t do something about this we will see a slow reduction of slaughter production in Denmark,” Martin Anderssen from the Danish Pig Research Centre told the International Pig Seminar at Agromek in Herning.

“In 20 years, we won’t have slaughterhouses in Denmark.”

At present, the Danish pig industry has around 4,000 producers but 10 million of the pigs they produce go for export with 60 per cent going to Germany and 30 per cent to Poland where the cost of processing is much less than in Denmark.

In all, 90 per cent of the pig meat that Denmark produces in exported to 140 different countries around the world.

Chris Harris

Chris Harris

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