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Volume 929: debated on Thursday 7 April 1977

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what further representations he has received from pig producers about the current condition of that section of the agricultural industry; what is his latest estimate of the numbers of sows slaughtered in recent weeks; and what effect this is having on the overall balance of the breeding herd.

My right hon. Friend met leaders of the industry last week when they drew attention to the difficult situation facing pig producers. The figures for sow and boar slaughterings in the last few weeks are set out below. Whilst slaughterings have declined since the introduction of the subsidy they continue at a rate which implies some reduction in the breeding herd.

Slaughter of Sows and Boars—United Kingdom '000 head
Week ended:
March 5th9·2
March 12th8·6
March 19th8·3