Dutch Pig Producers in Dire Straits

by 5m Editor
30 August 2011, at 10:43am

NETHERLANDS - The number of pigs in the Netherlands is dropping for the first time in years.

Rising feed prices have meant farmers are unable to make the substantial investments needed to meet stricter European environmental and animal welfare regulations.

Citing national newspaper de Volkskrant, Radio Netherlands reports that pig farmers who breed and sell piglets are facing particularly difficult times: their piglets fetch only half of what they cost in terms of feed and other expenses.

Farmers have been unable to pass on their rising costs to slaughterhouses because there are still too many pigs on the market.

Each year, about five per cent of pig farms close down but the sector organisation says the number for this year could be as high as 10 per cent. Since 1990, the number of pig farmers has steadily decreased from about 28,000 to about 7,000.