German pig farms with a minimum of 50 pigs or 10 breeding sows decreased 1.7 percent as of November 2012, according to provisional results of the Federal Statistics Office (Destatis). Approximately 28.3 million pigs were counted in Germany and stock pigs increased about 0.5 percent during the last six months. 

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Compared to May 2012 numbers Germany’s pig herd grew 2.9 percent, but sows continued to decrease at a rate of 2.7 percent. As a result, the number of piglets also decreased by 2.2 percent. The decrease in sow and piglet numbers may be because of new European Union housing welfare regulations for pregnant sows, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2013.