Total cattle stock in 2011 edged up by 0.8% on 2010
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The Bovine Register data showed that the cattle stock on 1 December 2011 increased by 0.8 per cent, or 120 heads, compared to one year earlier. When compared to 2010, bovines less than 1 year old and those between 1 and 2 years of age registered an increase of 2.3 and 4.8 per cent respectively. On the other hand, cows, the most important bovine type with 42.6 per cent of the total cattle stock, registered a decline of 1.1 per cent.
The cattle population in Gozo and Comino amounted to 4,961 heads, or 32.9 per cent of the total stock.
Last year 322 holdings were engaged in rearing cattle, of which 132 were involved in milk production. These farms accounted for 13,563 cattle, or 90.0 per cent of the total stock.
The majority of cattle farms had between 3 and 29 heads within the holding (46.9 per cent). The total cattle on these farms amounted to 1,468, or 9.7 per cent of the total stock. In contrast, 16.1 per cent of all cattle farms were large, each with 100 heads or more. These farms collectively had 9,424 heads, or 62.5 per cent of the total stock.
82.8 per cent of all farms with a herd size ranging from 3 to 29 reared cattle for meat production. Total cattle on non-dairy farms within this group amounted to 1,066 heads, or 72.6 per cent the total cattle within this herd size. On the other hand, farms with a herd size of at least 100 cattle were all dairy producers.
On a regional level, cattle stocks edged up by 0.7 per cent in Malta and by 1.0 per cent in Gozo and Comino. Overall, 10,113 cattle (67.1 per cent) were located on Maltese farms, with 36.6 per cent, or 3,701 heads, in the South Eastern district. The cattle population in Gozo and Comino amounted to 4,961 heads, or 32.9 per cent of the total stock.