Corrected press release: 12.187-027/20

Livestock 2019: slightly fewer cattle; pig, sheep and goat populations largely stable

Vienna, 2020-02-14 – On 1 December 2019, a total of 1.88 million cattle was kept in Austria. This represents a decrease of 1.7% or 33 300 animals compared to the results of the previous year, as Statistics Austria reports. With a minus of 0.1% or 3 300 animals, the total stock of pigs remained almost unchanged at 2.77 million. The number of sheep decreased by 0.9% to 403 000 animals, while that of goats rose by 1.1% to 92 500 compared to December 2018.

Number of cattle decreased (-1.7%)

With a minus of 2.1%, the stock of cattle less than one year old declined to 605 000 animals. Compared to 2018, the number of calves for slaughter dropped by 1.8% to 152 000 and that of other calves and young cattle fell by 2.2% to 453 000.

A slight decrease of 0.5% to 426 000 animals was also recorded in the age class of one to less than two year old cattle. Thereby, the number of bulls and oxen rose (+1.1% to 165 000) as well as that of heifers for slaughter (+1.9% to 78 100), while the stock of heifers for production and breeding fell (-2.8% to 183 000).

Compared to December 2018, the number of cattle aged at least two years declined by 2.1% to a total of 848 000 animals. There was a slight increase of bulls and oxen (+0.9% to 20 000), while the remaining stocks dropped: heifers for slaughter -2.5% to 18 700, heifers for production and breeding -4.6% to 89 400, dairy cows -1.7% to 524 000 and other cows -2.5% to 195 000.

The number of cattle farms on the reference day decreased by 2.5% to 56 400 within the last year. The average livestock density remained at 33 cattle per holding.

Pig stock almost unchanged (-0.1%)

Compared to the previous year, the number of piglets and young pigs (+0.4% to 1.37 million) as well as that of pigs for breeding (+0.6% to 234 000 animals) increased, whereas the stock of pigs for fattening slightly decreased (-0.9% to 1.17 million).

In detail, the number of piglets fell by 0.3% to 651 000, while that of young pigs rose by 1.0% to 722 000 animals. Furthermore, the number of pigs for fattening weighing 50 to less than 80 kg (+0.7% to 558 000) and pigs with at least 110 kg of weight (+2.6% to 138 000) increased. With a minus of 3.7%, the number of fattening pigs weighing 80 to less than 110 kg declined to 470 000 animals. Among breeding sows, a plus was recorded in the number of young breeding sows (+5.9% to 46 800), while old breeding sows decreased (-0.6% to 183 000). Simultaneously, the number of covered breeding sows increased to 162 000 animals (+0.3%).

At regional level, the share of the three Laender (federal states) most relevant for pig production – Upper Austria, Lower Austria and Styria – slightly rose to 93.5% of the total stock (2018: 93.4%).

Fewer sheep (-0.9%), more goats (+1.1%)

Both sheep categories showed declines compared to December 2018: The number of ewes and ewe lambs put to the ram sunk by 0.5% to 241 000 animals, that of other sheep by 1.5% to 162 000). While the number of goats that have already kidded and goats that have been mated (-0.3% to 60 100) slightly decreased, the stock of other goats increased (+3.7% to 32 400 animals).

For more detailed results and further information concerning statistics of livestock please refer to our website.

Information on methods: These statistics are based on regulation (EC) No 1165/2008 concerning livestock and meat statistics; implemented under Ordinance Federal Law Gazette II No. 163/2012 (available in German only) issued by the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Environment and Water Management.  
The bovine livestock was determined through an evaluation of the central cattle database pursued by Agrarmarkt Austria in combination with data from the Association of Austrian Cattle Breeders. The administrative data were consolidated by the Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research, which also subsequently processed the results.  
The data on the stock of pigs, sheep and goats was collected by a separated livestock sample survey at around 7 000 holdings directly.

Table 1: Number of cattle on 1 December 2019
 1 December 20181 December 2019Change in %
Cattle in total1 912 8081 879 520-1.7
   Young cattle less than 1 year old618 218605 322-2.1
   Young cattle 1  to less than 2 years old428 383426 425-0.5
   Cattle 2 years and older866 207847 773-2.1
Holdings with cattle57 85356 389-2.5
Table 2: Number of pigs, sheep and goats on 1 December 2019
 1 December 20181 December 2019Change in %
Pigs in total2 776 5742 773 225-0.1
   Piglets and young pigs below 50 kg live weight1 367 6891 373 149+0.4
   Pigs for fattening, 50 kg live weight and above1 176 1711 165 886-0.9
   Pigs for breeding, 50 kg live weight and above232 714234 190+0.6
Sheep in total406 336402 658-0.9
Goats in total91 53692 504+1.1

For further inquiries please contact Directorate Spatial Statistics, Statistics Austria:  
Franz NEUMANN, Tel. +43 (1) 71128-7120 resp. franz.neumann@statistik.gv.at and 
Martina WIESINGER, Tel. +43 (1) 71128-7959 resp. martina.wiesinger@statistik.gv.at

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