The number of pigs fell in most EU countries in the last decade, although in some countries it increased. Pig numbers increased most in Germany and Spain. The Netherlands also saw an increase in the number of pigs.
Most pigs in Germany and Spain
Pig numbers in the various EU countries vary widely. Germany has the most pigs, with nearly 28 million, followed closely by Spain with over 25 million pigs. Malta has the smallest number, with 46 thousand pigs.
There are about 12 million pigs in the Netherlands. This takes it to sixth place in the EU ranking for the greatest number of pigs. Only Germany, Spain, France, Denmark and Poland have more pigs.
Downward trend in most European countries
In the decade 2001- 2011 pig numbers dwindled in most EU member states. The country with the largest decrease was Poland, where pig numbers fell by more than 4 million within a decade. The Czech Republic saw its pig numbers more than halved, also a major decrease. Slovakia did not have the largest decrease in absolute terms, but it did in terms of percentages. It saw a reduction of more than 60 percent.
The number of pigs increased in Germany, Spain, Romania, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece Estonia and Luxembourg. The Netherlands saw a 5 percent upturn, while the EU-27 averaged a 6 percent downturn.