The latest Defra census is showing encouraging signs the
British pig industry is turning the corner says British
Pig Executive (BPEX) Chairman Stewart Houston.
The June 2006 figures show a one per cent increase in
the pig breeding herd, returning it to just above the June
2005 level. This is the first upturn for four years and
follows six years of overall decline.
The total number of pigs in the UK has also risen to just
under five million, a 1.8 per cent rise in the last year.
Stewart said: "In-pig gilts and maiden gilts are
showing an increase and so far this year the number of
cull sows has been down. Coupled with the productivity
gains we are seeing, this bodes well for the future availability
of slaughter pigs.
"It is good to see farmers are investing in replacement
breeding stock which indicates a measure of confidence
in the future.
"The Defra comparisons are June to June, but if you
compare the latest with those for last December, it shows
the ground lost at the end of last year has been regained.
"These are provisional figures and could be amended
later in the autumn but what we have seen so far is very
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