About a sixth of Holland's pig farmers have asked for aid to leave the industry under a pollution control scheme introduced last year, but industry insiders say this should not be taken seriously as a signal Dutch pork and bacon supplies will decline more sharply than the cyclical downturn already indicates. The government certainly wants to reduce indigenous production. But fewer pigs on the farms does not necessarily mean lower output from the processing sector. Even the latest pig census results, from the April head count, are ambiguous. The Netherlands had 6% fewer pigs in total than a year earlier and the number of suckling sows was down more sharply. However, there was a slight increase in the number of maiden gilts, the young female stock possibly intended for breeding. {{MEAT }}

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