Written Answers. - Pig Farmers.

541.

asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will outline in detail the total number of pig farmers in this country in 1960, 1970, 1980 and 1983; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The table below details the information requested:

Estimated numbers of holdings with pigs

1960

1970

1980

110,900

67,900

12,500

1980 is the latest year for which figures are available.

The figures demonstrate the rapid change in the system of Irish pig production over the last 20 years. Pig farming is now a highly specialised intensive operation compared to its previous position of being a farmyard enterprise.