Signs of confidence in Welsh livestock census

Welsh livestock numbers are stabilising and even increasing in some sectors after a period of decline, according to the December 2010 Survey of Agriculture.

It showed the total Welsh sheep flock numbered over 5.4 million last December, a 1% increase compared with the same month in 2009.

The Welsh cattle herd remained at just over 1.1m while there was a 22% increase in pig numbers to 27,000 head.

“The figures show that confidence within the industry is growing and livestock numbers are stabilising.” said John Richards, industry information officer at Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales).

There were also more beef calves registered. Last year nearly 240,000 beef calves were registered with the British Cattle Movement Service from Welsh holdings, 4% more than 2009.

“The results from the BCMS report show that there is a huge amount of diversity in the Welsh herd at the moment, with 58 different breeds registered last year,” added Mr Richards.

“But the majority of the beef calf registrations were made up of Limousin and Limousin-cross, which account for 40% of the herd, and Charolais and Charolais-cross, which make up a further 20%.”