Scottish pig numbers increased by 4% during the 12 months to June this year, registering the sector’s third consecutive rise after several years of previous decline, according to the latest census figures from the Scottish Government.
The all-pigs increase of 12,500 head, takes the overall sector total to 330,000 pigs. Scotland’s breeding herd, meanwhile, increased by just 0.4% to 31,000.
“Pig numbers (in Scotland) have been declining steadily from a peak in the late 1990s,” it is stated in the Scottish Government’s national statistics publication which was released today.
“Numbers dropped below 300,000 in December 2013, following the closure of the Hall’s meat processing factory in late 2012. However, pig numbers have now risen every year since 2014.”
NFU Scotland’s pigs committee chairman Kevin Gilbert commented: “The Scottish pig industry can take encouragement from the fact that this rise was largely driven by an increase in the number of finishing pigs being kept. With the recent investment in new abattoir facilities at Brechin and renewed retailer interest in selling Scottish pork, there are positive signals going forward for the sector.”