Data published by the Scottish Government has revealed that the number of Scottish breeding pigs was 19% higher at June 1, compared with a year earlier.
This suggests that 5,000 additional sows have been placed over the past 12 months. Anecdotal reports back up growth in this region, with increases likely reflecting changes in the size of the outdoor herd.
Andy McGowan,chief executive at Scottish Pig Producers, said: “We are pleased to see strong growth in the Scottish breeding herd, particular as it is driven by specific demand for both slaughter and breeding pigs from customers across the UK rather than just producers speculatively upping numbers.
“Managed growth is a central part of the Scottish Pig Industry Strategy that aims to double the industry value by 2030 and deliver sustainable profitability for producers and processors here.”
AHDB lead analyst Duncan Wyatt said the number of fattening pigs did not follow the same trend, falling by nearly 1%.
He said: “Not all pigs born in Scotland stay there for slaughter, but even so, the fall in Scottish slaughter pigs does seem inconsistent with the growth in breeding sows. Overall, the pig herd grew by nearly 1%.”