GERMANY, Wiesbaden. The number of animals kept in Germany has fallen to its lowest level for more than 20 years. As the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced, there were still 25.37 mill. pigs in Germany on the cut-off date of 3 May; that was 584,400 animals or 2.3% less than in the comparable survey of the previous year.
This means that the pig population in a May census has fallen to its lowest level since 1998; in the past five years alone, a decline of 2.72 mill. animals or 9.7% was recorded. Compared with the previous year, however, the reduction in the number of pigs has slowed down considerably. From May 2018 to May 2019, the number of pigs kept in Germany fell by 985,000 animals or 3.7%.
According to the Wiesbaden statisticians, in May 2020 there was a slight increase of 0.3% to 7.82 mill. piglets compared to the previous year only in the number of piglets. In contrast, the number of young pigs fell by 5.8% to 4.70 mill. and the number of fattening pigs by 2.4% to 11.076 mill. head. Sow keeping was also on the retreat again. Within twelve months, the number of sows decreased by 1.9% to 1.77 mill. dams. The number of sow owners decreased even more sharply within a year - in relative terms - by 400 farms or 5.4% to 7,000 companies. In total, about 1,200 pig farmers or 5.7% stopped production since May 2019; at last there were still about 20,400 farms with pigs on the farm nationwide.
According to Destatis, the herd of cattle has also decreased again, by almost 340,000 animals or 2.9% to 11.42 mill. head compared to the previous year. This was the lowest number of animals since records began in 1973. Currently, the herd of young cattle under one year of age decreased by 2.6% and that of heifers by 3.3% compared to May 2019. The greatest reduction in the herd of male animals older than one year - i.e. bulls and steers - was 5.4% to 947,430 head. The dairy cow population also shrank again, by 2.4% to 3.97 mill. animals. According to the survey, there were still 133,202 cattle farmers in Germany in May 2020; this was 2,889 or 2.1% less than a year ago. At 4.5% to 58,351 farms, the number of dairy cow farmers has fallen more sharply than that of all cattle farms.