The latest update for the EU-27 pig population from Eurostat reveals a fall of more than one million head, or 0.7%, from the previous year to an EU-27 total of just under 152 million animals in 2009.

The picture for pig meat production, however, raises more serious concerns, with pig meat production in the EU-27 falling to just under 21.3 million tonnes last year – a fall of almost 6%, compared with 2008, following massive declines in output in some countries, especially the new EU member states.