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Maltese Pig Population Down in 2011

by 5m Editor
19 April 2012, at 6:39am

MALTA - The number of pigs in Malta dropped by 34.4 per cent in 2011 over 2010, the National Statistics Office said yesterday.

The pig population rose 7 per cent between 2009 and 2010, reports TimesofMalta.com.

The NSO said that in December 2011, the pig population amounted to 46,287 heads, down by 34.4 per cent, or 24,296 over 2010. A decline of 26.9 per cent was recorded in the breeding stock, which ultimately contributed to a 36.4 per cent drop in fattening pigs.

The census revealed that 116 holdings (-11.5 per cent) were engaged in pig production. Of these, 72.4 per cent had less than 400 pigs and accounted for 31.8 per cent of total stock, or 14,730 heads.

The holdings which had more than 400 heads accounted for 31,557 pigs, or 68.2 per cent of the total pig population.

On a regional level, the pig population decreased by 34.7 per cent in Malta and by 29.5 per cent in Gozo and Comino. Overall, 43,306 pigs, or 93.6 per cent were located in Maltese farms, with the Western District accounting for 41.0 per cent. In Gozo and Comino, the pig population amounted to 2,981 heads, or 6.4 per cent of the total stock.

The Pig Breeders' Association says on its website that Malta currently slaughters about 1,600 pigs per week. This is a significant reduction from the 2,400 which used to be slaughtered every week just a few years ago, although pork consumption has not been reduced.

"The difference has simply been replaced by lower quality imported meat products."