Dutch livestock census re-sults showing a contraction in the national pig herd are probably not a reliable indicator of future bacon and pork supplies to the UK. Although, year on year the number of maiden gilts was sharply lower in December, shrinking numbers of young breeding stock are viewed with scepticism by insiders. Last year, a sharper than average reduction would have been logical as the Dutch industry was coming under political pressure to scale down for environmental reasons. But the maiden gilt tally is an unreliable indicator of trends in most pig industries, so the 12.8% reduction in the Netherlands needs interpreting with caution. The 3.6% decline in in-pig sows and gilts during the year to December also looks more modest than might have been expected. {{M/E MEAT }}