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Farmers Take Slaughter Option as Feed Cost Rises

by 5m Editor
28 April 2008, at 8:36am

UK - Britain's pig farmers are forecast to post losses of 3200 million this year. An increasing number of them are sending more of their breeding animals to slaughter to avoid the soaring cost of feed.

According to the Times Online, the British breeding herd has halved over the past decade to 436,000 sows. Mick Sloyan, who runs the British Pig Executive (BPEX), an industry association, is predicting a decline of another 10 per cent this year.

Farmers are making a loss of £22 per animal, according to BPEX, because of the rising cost of wheat, corn and soya meal. Many are pulling out of pig-rearing altogether.

Mr Sloyan said: “It's a capital-intensive business. In order to stay in, you need to invest. In the first three months of the year, there has been a 35 per cent increase in the number of breeding sows sent to slaughter.”

Farmers are killing their breeding stock rather than face the cost of feeding sows and piglets. This reduces further a shrinking industry that supplies only half the pork and bacon consumed in Britain.

View the Times Online story by clicking here.

5m Editor