September 23, 2003



UK Pig Numbers Falling, Support Needed


Britain¡¯s pig supply looks set to remain tight for the rest of this year and early into 2004 as current virus problems and overall decline in numbers of an average UK pig herd pose real threats.


European supplies are also under pressure in some sectors, with the Dutch leading the decline with a 10 percent drop in the first half of the year.


However, Germany and Denmark are seen to buck the trend, with the German herd of approximately 2.6 million sows increasing by just over 1% and the Danish herd rising by 2.6%, to 882,000. 


The National Pig Association is continuing its campaign of persuasion, targeting retailers and consumers in a bid to stir demand for UK pork. Local retailers are also reminded not to deceive consumers with misleading information regarding the consumption of local pigmeat.


Pork and bacon consumption have fallen by 3% and 2% respectively but sausage sales are up by 8%, as shown from the latest data of consumer habits. Summer barbeques are meanwhile fuelling hopes that demand will heat up for UK-produced quality pork.
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