Small rise in Scots pig numbers is the first upward step for four years

Pig numbers in Scotland have seen a 3% increase in 2013/14, after large decreases in the past few years, according to the latest Scottish Government census figures for the year to June 2014.

Total number of pigs rose by 8,500 on the year to 316,000, with most of that coming from production pigs, up by more than 7,000, leaving the breeding herd up by 1,400.

The upward movement comes after a period of sharp decline for pig production in Scotland, total numbers having fallen by almost 33% from 470,000 in 2004 to 316,000 in 2014.

During the same period, the breeding herd decreased by 19,000 (38.1%) while pigs for fattening decreased by 134,000 (32.4%).

Pig numbers have been declining steadily from a peak reached in the late 1990s, albeit with a few positive blips in one or two years.  The 2013/14 increase in breeding and fattening pigs, in fact, is the first upward step for the sector since 2010.

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