Cattle population in 2012 up by 3.4% on the previous year
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The cattle population in 2012 went up by 3.4 per cent to 15,593 heads when compared to 2011.
According to the data from the Bovine Register, cattle stocks on 1 December 2012 increased by 3.4 per cent, or 519 heads, compared to a year earlier. Bovines less than 1 year old and those between 1 and 2 years of age advanced by 8.2 and 5.0 per cent respectively. Cows, representing 41.2 per cent of the total cattle stock, edged up 0.1 per cent.
5,069 heads, or 32.5 per cent, were found on farms in Gozo and Comino, which was up slightly on the 2011 figures of 4,961 heads.
The National Statistics Office said that in 2012, 308 holdings were engaged in rearing cattle, of which 126 were mainly concentrated on milk production. These farms accounted for 13,930 cattle, or 89.3 per cent of the total stock.
Of all cattle farms, those having between 3 and 29 cattle on the holding remained the dominant category (43.8 per cent). These farms comprised 1,335 cattle, or 8.6 per cent of the stock. On the other hand, 17.5 per cent of all cattle farms were considered large, each with at least 100 heads. These holdings comprised 10,174 heads, or 65.2 per cent of the total stock.
On a regional level, 10,524 cattle (67.5 per cent) were found on Maltese farms, of which 36.9 per cent or 3,885 heads were located in the South Eastern district. The remaining 5,069 heads, or 32.5 per cent, were found on farms in Gozo and Comino, which was up slightly on the 2011 figures of 4,961 heads.