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Livestock - Livestock Trends

High Level Summary of Statistics Trend Last update: Thursday 12th October 2017

Livestock Trends 

The chart below presents livestock trends as indices. This demonstrates the relative change of each livestock category from a baseline year of 2007 and can be used to compare trends across livestock types with quite different population totals. Decreases in livestock are evident for all categories across the ten year period, except for poultry. The largest decrease occurred among pigs (29 per cent). Smaller decreases are evident among cattle (nine per cent) and sheep (seven per cent). Poultry rose very slightly (by one per cent).

Livestock indices, ten-year trends relative to 2007


Cattle Tracing Scheme (CTS) data are derived from an administrative data source which records cattle movements across Great Britain and which replaced the collection of cattle data via the census in 2013. All the cattle data used in this publication now come from the CTS.

In 2005 the Single Farm Payment (SFP) scheme was introduced, which decoupled subsidy payments from most sheep and cattle production, with the exception of the Scottish Beef Calf Scheme, and with coupled payments for sheep being reintroduced more recently. With the introduction of SFP, the decline in sheep numbers accelerated, with a decrease of ten per cent between 2007 and 2010, although the population has risen slightly in the last few years, rising four per cent since 2014. Cattle numbers have also been in decline, down by 10 per cent between 2007 and 2017.