Fewer slaughter pigs will be available in the Netherlands this year, following herd contraction revealed by the December livestock census. Weaner numbers aparently fell 4.5% and the maiden gilt herd has supposedly shrivelled by 14%. But the December 1998 census also showed a sharp fall in maiden gilt numbers and yet this did not result in contraction of the in-pig sow and gilt herds during 1999. The new figures might therefore exaggerate the likely contraction in Dutch pigmeat supply, especially as stocks remain heavy. {{MEAT }}