The Flemish pig farmers organization VeVa (Vereniging Varkenshouders) has presented a plan which outlines a scheme which would reduce the number of Belgian sows by around 100,000 animals.
This represents around 20% of the herd in the Flanders region of Belgium where pig production is concentrated. The plan calls for farmers to be paid around US$1000 for each sow that is culled and envisages that a total budget of US$100 mill. will be financed by a levy of US$1.40 per market pig.
VeVa is very gloomy about current and future returns from pig production as a result of low meat prices and high feed prices. Furthermore, the extra investment from farmers to comply with the new welfare housing requirements for sows in Europe (to be completed by 2013) is also adding to the negative outlook.
Source: VeVa Vereniging Varkenshouders