The total number of pigs in the UK decreased by 1.3% since December 2010 to just over 4.3 million, which is the smallest pig herd as at the 1st of December recorded since 1992 (the first year for which figures are easily available). The English pig herd fell by 0.7% to 3.5 million over the same period. The UK’s number of breeding pigs has fallen to 500 thousand animals in December 2011, and the English breeding herd remained unchanged from December 2010’s figure of 415 thousand pigs.
The UK’s herd of fattening pigs shrank by 50 thousand to 3.8 million pigs, with England’s herd remaining at 3.1 million for the second year running as at the 1st of December. This stability and consolidation of pig numbers perhaps reflects producers continuing to wait and see how their markets develop over the next few months, particularly in England.
Thursday March 8, 2012/ DEFRA/ United Kingdom.