EU cattle numbers decline

by Editor
Wednesday, November 28, 2007

EU cattle numbers were down nearly 1% compared with 2006, totalling 74.9 million head, according to the May/June 2007 cattle census results.

Slightly higher cattle numbers in France and Poland were offset by reduced herds in Germany, the UK and Ireland (EU market Survey).

EU dairy cow numbers were down 1% and suckler cow numbers back fractionally compared with last year.

In the UK, ongoing structural change in the dairy sector saw dairy cow numbers decline 1%, to 1.96 million head, while suckler cow numbers fell by 2%. In Ireland, the cow herd fell by almost 2%, to 2.29 million head. Since the introduction of decoupled payments in 2005, the Irish breeding herd has contracted by 3%.

The EU Commission has forecast a 1% decline in gross EU cattle slaughter during 2007, to 29.4 million head. This decline can be largely attributed to reduced production in Germany, France, Ireland and Poland.

Little change in total EU cattle slaughter is anticipated for 2008.