Increase in size of national pig herd

by 5m Editor
10 December 2004, at 12:00am

THE NETHERLANDS - In August 2004 the Dutch national pig herd comprised of 11.3 million animals, an increase of 0.4 million (3.6%) compared with August 2003. Dutch pigmeat production has also risen in 2004. Up to the end of week 44 Dutch slaughterhouses slaughtered 12.1 million pigs, a 3.4% rise compared with the same period the previous year. Experts anticipate that the increase in pigmeat production will continue in the fourth quarter of 2004 and in the first six months of 2005.

Over the past few years the Dutch pigmeat industry has invested a great deal in quality. The quality assurance system Integrated Chain Control (known as IKB in Dutch) was introduced in 1992 and over a period of ten years has developed into one of Europe’s leading quality systems for pigmeat production.

In order to implement improvements in quality management and animal welfare and to control the adverse effects of pig farming on the environment, the Dutch national pig herd was reduced in size by 24% over five years (see Table 1).

This downward trend has not continued in 2004. As a result of increased productivity in sow farming and lower exports of piglets, more pigs could be fattened in the Netherlands. This even led to an increase in the size of the national pig herd.

Since exports of fattening pigs are expected to fall by a few per cent in 2004, pigmeat production will rise slightly to approximately 1.3 million tonnes (2003: 1.25 million tonnes). Estimates based on export surveys indicate that the main export markets are the UK (29%, mainly in the form of bacon), Germany (20%), Italy (17%) and Greece (10%).

Source: Dutch Meat Board - 9th December 2004

5m Editor