English pig numbers at a five-year high

The total number of pigs on commercial English farms on December 1, 2013 was a little more than 3.6 million, according to figures released by Defra. This is the highest total since 2009, when Defra removed the smallest producers from the census survey.

The total is split between 411,170 breeding pigs, which was 18,000 lower on the year, and 3,195,377 other pigs, which was 208,000 higher than last year’s figure.

While the number of sows-in-pig recorded was only 1,100 lower than last year, the number of sows being suckled or dry was 2,000 higher. The fall in total breeding numbers was due to a 7,500 drop in the number of in-pig gilts and a 11,100 fall in the number of gilts 50kg or more intended for breeding. 

The number of boars for breeding also fell to an all-time low of 12,800, 500 fewer than last year.

English pig herd on December 1:

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Total pigs 3,547,907 3,514,444 3,488,521 3,417,000 3,606,547
Breeding pigs 414,566 414,828 414,863 429,341 411,170
Other pigs 3,160,341 3,099,616 3,073,658 2,987,575 3,195,377

A detailed breakdown is available in the attached PDF, below.

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