It has never been easy to be a farmer, but to be a British pig farmer today is really bad news.
So says Defra, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the UK. According to a report in The Independent, Defra claims that the average UK pig-only farmer will see his yearly income drop by 46 percent in 2016, from £49,400 ($71,644) to £26,500 ($38,432).
The predicted decline is the largest proportional drop for any type of farm—although British dairy farms are not expected to be far behind. They're expected to be down 45 percent this year.
So where will the bangers come from in the British favorite, bangers and mash? And what about the rashers of bacon and sausages for the full English fry-up?
Well, they'll likely come from European farms across the Channel. Those farms may very well take over much of the supply of pork to the island empire.
Prices for UK pork are down because demand is down. And there are several reasons for this. First is Russia's ban on Western food imports, put in effect after the West sanctioned Russia for its behavior in the Ukraine. Another reason for the drop in demand is health warnings that have disparaged processed meats, like bacon and ham. The World Health Organization's report, which came out last fall and said eating meat could very well have pretty much the same impact on your body as smoking cigarettes, certainly didn't help.
READ MORE: Sorry Everyone, Bacon Could Be as Bad For You as Cigarettes
Pig farms throughout Britain are starting to go under and more are expected to do so in the near future. Zoe Davies, chief executive of the National Pig Association, has been reminding Brits to buy local instead of going to EU sources for the other white meat. "If retailers want the convenience of a thriving British pig sector on their doorstep, producing reliable supplies 52 weeks of the year of a quality-assured, traceable, high-welfare product, then it's essential they make a special effort to support British pig farmers," she said.
But it's unclear whether Britain alone can reinvigorate its pig farming industry—so the British pig may become a rare animal indeed.