The EU has a sizeable livestock population in November/December 2022, there were 134 million pigs (-5% compared with 2021), 75 million bovine animals (-1%), 59 million sheep (-2%) and 11 million goats (-3%).
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This information comes from provisional data on the EU’s livestock population, published by Eurostat.
In November/December 2022, Germany and Denmark reported declines in their pig populations, equivalent to over half of the EU’s overall reduction.
Germany’s decrease was equal to 33% of the EU’s overall reduction (-2.4 million head compared with 2021; -10%). Denmark’s decrease was equal to 22% of the EU’s overall reduction (-1.6 million head, -12%). Bulgaria and Malta (both -26%) had the largest relative declines.
The declines were part of a general trend. All the EU members with more than three million pigs reported decreases, with two exceptions: Italy (+330 thousand head, +4% compared with 2021) and Sweden (+50 thousand head, +3%).
In November/December 2022, France and Italy reported decreases in their bovine animal populations, equivalent to over two-thirds of the EU’s overall decline.
France’s drop was equal to 40% of the EU’s overall reduction (-340 thousand head; -2% compared with 2021). Italy’s drop was equivalent to 27% of the EU’s overall reduction (-230 thousand head, -4%). Bulgaria recorded the largest relative decline (-5%).
Spain’s decrease in the sheep population was equivalent to 57% of the EU’s overall reduction (-630 thousand head; -4% compared with 2021), while France’s decrease accounted for 36% of the EU’s overall reduction (-400 thousand head, -6%).
With regard to the goat population, Spain’s decrease was equivalent to 33% of the EU’s overall reduction (-130 thousand head; -5%). Greece’s decrease was equal to 23% of the EU’s overall reduction (-80 thousand head; -3%).
Over the past decade, the livestock population decreased for all species. The goat population experienced the sharpest decline in this period (-9 index points in 2022 compared with 2012).
Until 2020, the pig population was an exception to this trend; however, it has since caught up with the rest of the species, with remarkable declines in each of the past two years. ■