Last year, the number of pig farms in the Netherlands fell by almost five hundred, a decrease of around 12 percent. Despite the fact that many companies used a special stopper system, the pig herd has barely shrunk.
It Central statistical office (CBS) reports that the number of companies has dropped from 4,090 in 2019 to 3,600 in 2020.
The pig population has fluctuated around 12 million animals for years. In the last twelve months there was a slight decrease of 1.2 percent.
The report concludes that the remaining companies have started keeping more animals. According to Statistics Netherlands, the average number of animals kept per farm has increased from 900 to over 3,400 in the last twenty years.
Many of the discontinued companies used a special government subsidy system that ran until 2020. The government had made available over 180 million euros in the coalition agreement. The scheme was originally introduced to reduce odor nuisance. However, these companies also emit nitrogen and CO2, two other substances that the cabinet would like to reduce with regard to the climate and the environment.
Just like the pig herd, the chicken and sheep herd also decreased slightly. On the other hand, the number of dairy goats on farms increased (4.3 percent). The livestock population also grew (0.7 percent).