UK breeding herd stable
Provisional figures for the UK pig herd as at June 2015 show a 2% decline in total pig numbers, compared with a year earlier. In contrast, the sow herd was little changed from a year before, suggesting that the overall situation remains broadly stable.
Within this, the number of in-pig sows and gilts was slightly higher, as was the number of maiden gilts. The fall in the overall herd was driven by lower numbers of feeding pigs. However, this trend is not supported by slaughtering figures for the four months since the survey date, which show over 125,000 more pigs being processed than in the same period last year. Therefore, the figures should be treated with some caution.
These provisional figures only take account of trends in England and Northern Ireland, following a delay in the publication of Scottish results until later this month. Welsh figures will also not be available until later in the year but will have little impact on the UK totals given the small size of the Welsh herd.