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    FMD Distorts Pig Census Figures
14/03/08

News that the census shows no decline in the national pig herd comes as no surprise to the British Pig Executive.

© www.jennifermackenzie.co.uk

pigs

This is effectively because there was no market for cull sows last Autumn due to FMD so a huge backlog built up. The market only re-started at the tail end of 2007.

However, the latest figures show weekly sow cullings are running at something like 45% above the level of this time last year which is indicative of a reduction in the national breeding herd.

EU figures for the same period show a decline in the breeding herd - in-pig sows and gilts are showing a 4.5% fall compared with 2006.

BPEX Chief Executive Mick Sloyan said: "The average increase in UK culling of 1,700 a week this year equals 36,000 pigs over a typical 21 week cycle.

"If this rate of culling were to continue for six months that would mean almost a million fewer finished pigs on the market which in turn would mean much less home-produced pork and pork products on supermarket shelves.

"The only way of reversing this trend is for producers to be paid a fair return for their pigs.

"They are at present getting about 113p per kg when they need something like 140p per kg.

"Retail prices did go up towards the end of last year but not enough and little if any of that increase has flowed down the supply chain to the producer."

link Pork Industry Will Die If Prices Don't Improve, MPs Told
link 10,000 Back Pig Industry E-Petition
link NADIS Pig Health Report for January 2008

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