Cattle numbers continue to decline
Cattle in Scotland
Cattle numbers June 1970-2018
Number of cattle in Scotland in June 2018 : 1.76 million
Cattle numbers have steadily declined to a 60 year low. In June 2018, there were 1.76 million cattle in Scotland, a two per cent drop on the previous year and the lowest count since 1957.
Numbers have fallen in both the beef and dairy sectors, by one and two per cent respectively. There was also a two per cent drop in the number of calves born in the last year.
One factor which may have impacted the fall in the past year was poor weather. The long 2017-18 winter exhausted livestock farmers' feed stock and dry summer weather reduced the amount of grass grown for feed. The grass shortage has led to animals being slaughtered earlier or in higher quantity as farmers look to reduce their cattle numbers to save on feed costs.