The prevalence of helminths in pigs was investigated in five rural communities situated on the embankment of Dongting Lake in Zhiyang County, Hunan Province, People's Republic of China, in an area known to be endemic for Schistosoma japonicum. The helminth prevalences identified on the basis of faecal egg count analysis were: Oesophagostomum spp. (86.7%), Ascaris suum (36.7%), Metastrongylus spp. (25.8%), Strongyloides spp. (25.8%), Trichuris suis (15.8%), Globocephalus spp. (6.7%), Gnathostoma spp. (4.2%), Schistosoma japonicum (5.0%) and Fasciola spp. (1.3%). Post mortem examinations of a small number of pigs depositing eggs of different helminth species revealed the presence of Oesophagostomum dentatum, O. quadrispinulatum, A. suum, Metastrongylus apri, M. pudendotectus, T. suis, G. hispidum and Ascarops dentata. Prevalences of all helminths, with the exception of Oesophagostomum spp., were higher in young pigs (< 8 months old) compared with adult pigs. Prevalences of trematodes were very low, especially for S. japonicum which had decreased dramatically compared with previous reports from this area of P.R. China, whereas prevalences of nematodes were generally in agreement with those reported from other Yangtze River Provinces. Results from helminth prevalence studies in pigs, conducted in other provinces of P.R. China between 1987 and 1997, are presented and discussed. It was concluded that a government helminth control programme, implemented in 1995 to control S. japonicum infection in pigs in Hunan Province, may have resulted in a greatly reduced prevalence of S. japonicum in pigs in this region.