Spanish pigs outnumber populationStaff Writer |
Europe 50 million pigs, 46.5 million citizens
The boom in Spain's livestock farming makes agriculture the fourth-largest producer of carbon emissions, with 10% of the national total.
The number of pigs slaughtered in Spain was recorded at about 50 million for the first time, according to a 2017 government report.
The figure surpasses the human population of the country, which is currently registering at 46.5 million. However, Denmark tops Spain overall with about 215 pigs for every 100 residents, Eurostat figures disclosed.
Spain's total production of pork has grown by 20% in the past five years to reach 4.3 million metric tons. Spain's annual average personal pork consumption is 21 kilograms, according to the government. Meanwhile, the increase in pork exports specifically addresses China's demand for the meat.
The boom in Spain's livestock farming makes agriculture the fourth-largest producer of carbon emissions, with 10% of the national total. The figure trails transport, electricity generation and industry.
However, the Spanish Government pledges to address a potential environmental threat posed by the surge in the meat industry.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has made environment policy a priority since taking office in June, setting up an independent ministry of environment separating it from the previous joint portfolio with agriculture.
Environmentalists have also chimed in warning of serious damage if factory farming is allowed to continue to grow. One pig is estimated to consume 15 liters of water a day or more water than the cities of Seville, Alicante and Zaragoza combined.
Additionally, nitrates from animal waste are contaminating groundwater. Over 84 million cubic meters of liquid manure runs out of the pig factory farms, yearly. ■
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