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Fewer Cattle Overall in UK, Most Recent Census Shows

20 March 2014

UK - Cattle and calves fell 0.7 per cent to 9.7 million, the latest census of cattle numbers in the United Kingdom in December 2013 reveals.

This report updates the previous one by including the figures for Scotland.

Cattle Numbers

According to the latest revision, the total number of cattle and calves in the UK fell by 0.7 per cent to 9.7 million between December 2012 and December 2013.

The UK's dairy herd remained static at 1.8 million for another year and the beef herd continues to decrease, falling by 3.0 per cent to under 1.6 million.

Scotland has now started to use the Cattle Tracing System (CTS) as the source for cattle data in December 2013, and revised its cattle time series back to 2007.

Table 2. Cattle and calves on agricultural holdings in the UK on 1 December (thousands)
 20092010201120122013% change
2013 / 2012
Total cattle & calves 9,945 9,924 9,692 9,749 9,682 -0.7
 All female cattle 7,167 7,188 7,054 7,062 7,013 -0.7
  Aged 2 years or more 4,292 4,302 4,164 4,128 4,126 -0.1
   Total breeding herd 3,465 3,481 3,412 3,388 3,371 -0.5
    - Beef herd 1,616 1,649 1,630 1,603 1,554 -3.0
    - Dairy herd 1,849 1,832 1,783 1,786 1,817 +1.7
  Other female cattle 827 821 752 740 755 +2.1
    - Beef 408 398 335 346 353 +2.0
    - Dairy 418 423 417 394 402 +2.1
 Aged 1 to 2 years 1,391 1,364 1,352 1,394 1,396 +0.1
   - Beef 907 854 835 861 852 -1.1
   - Dairy 484 510 516 532 543 +2.1
Less than 1 year 1,485 1,521 1,538 1,540 1,491 -3.1
All male cattle 2,777 2,736 2,638 2,687 2,669 -0.7
 Aged 2 years or more 370 348 303 305 342 +12.2
 Aged 1 to 2 years 1,052 1,021 985 1,001 1,015 +1.4
 Less than 1 year 1,356 1,367 1,350 1,381 1,312 -5.0
Figures sourced from the Cattle Tracing System (CTS). Data include returns from all holdings with cattle so are not subject to survey

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