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Scottish Pig Herd Drops Again

by 5m Editor
23 September 2009, at 10:34am

SCOTLAND, UK - The English breeding herd is up 5.5 per cent and Northern Ireland is up 12 per cent — but the Scottish herd has fallen 10 per cent, a disappointing but not unexpected result.

The June 2009 census shows continued shrinkage of the Scottish pig herd, as a result of high feed costs last year and perhaps increased nervousness about so much of Scotland's processing capacity being in the hands of one company, Vion.

But this time the census results hold a glimmer of hope that the industry has turned the corner and could be stabilising.

There is a 40 per cent increase in the number of gilts being kept for breeding. Admittedly this is comparing current intentions with a disastrously low figure in the June 2008 survey, but it does demonstrate increased confidence among some producers.

Scottish Pig Herd, June 2009
2007 2008 2009 Percentage change
2008/2009
Breeding herd
Sows in pig 30,114 26,738 24,026 -10.1%
Gilts in pig 3,830 3,530 3,071 -13.0%
Other sows 6,231 6,671 6,162 -7.6%
Total breeding herd 40,175 36,939 33,259 -10.0%
Barren sows for fattening 762 709 495 30.2%
Gilts 50kg and over to be used for breeding 6,136 3,883 5,478 41.1%
Boars 1,352 1,278 1,198 -6.3%
Total other pigs 408,244 393,094 355,627 -9.5%
Total pigs 456,669 435,903 396,057 -9.1%