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Livestock Policy Branch
B1 Spur
Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
EH11 3XD


0300 244 9291

Livestock Products

Calf - Credited to QMS

The Scottish Government is committed to supporting rural life, rural communities and the rural economy. An important part of this agenda is its support of Scotland's livestock and livestock products industries.

Grazing land comprises nearly 80% of the total agricultural land in Scotland and around half of all holdings in Scotland are involved in livestock farming. As a result the livestock and livestock products industry has a big impact on rural development in Scotland.


The red meat industry is important to the UK as a whole as approximately 18% of all cattle in the UK are in Scotland.

Beef production is the largest sector of the agriculture industry in Scotland, estimated to contribute almost 22% of gross agricultural output in 2014 with an output value of £661 million.

In June 2015, the Scottish beef herd represented approximately 28% of the total UK beef herd, with a total of 436,766 beef cows.


The Scottish industry is important to the UK as a whole as 20% of sheep in the UK are in Scotland.

There were approximately 6.7 million sheep in Scotland in June 2015, and the industry was estimated to be worth just over £203 million. Sheep farming is the predominant type of farming in the north west of Scotland and there are also many sheep farms in the south of the country.


In June 2015, pig numbers were around 317,748. This is an increase of 1,450 from the June 2014 figures of 316,298.

The pig sector's share of total Scottish agricultural output was 3% in 2014 estimated at a value of £94 million.


Dairying occurs throughout Scotland in areas where the land is of sufficient quality to sustain good pasture. The main milk fields are to be found in Dumfries and Galloway, Ayrshire, the Clyde Valley and North East Scotland.

In 2014, 1.412 billion litres were produced, a 5% increase on 2013 production. This accounted for around 15% of agricultural output in Scotland, worth an estimated £447 million.

In June 2015, there were 175,734 dairy cows which is an increase of 6,018 from the June 2014 figures of 169,176.


Scotland's egg industry is small, with three main producers and a large number of smaller operators accounting for around 1.1 billion eggs produced in 2014.

Income from eggs was estimated at £78 million, doubling since 2004, having risen steadily since 2005.


In June 2015 there were 13.06 million poultry on agricultural holdings in Scotland. This is a decrease of 1.69 million from the June 2014 figures of 14.74 million.

At June 2015, 81 per cent of poultry were located in the East of Scotland, in Tayside, Grampian, Scottish Borders, Fife and Lothians, with each sub-region accounting for between 10 per cent and 21 per cent of the Scottish total.