Sheep numbers hit five-year low
Sheep in Scotland
Sheep numbers June 2000-2018 (million)
Number of sheep in Scotland in June 2018 : 6.59 million
Total sheep numbers fell for the first time since 2013. In June 2018, there were 6.59 million sheep in Scotland, a drop of six per cent on the previous year.
Scottish lamb numbers hit their lowest point since 2013. Lambs made up 48 per cent of the total sheep flock in Scotland and in 2018 their numbers fell by eight per cent to 3.1 million.
Lamb numbers may have been impacted by poor weather. 'The Beast from the East' snow storm hit during lambing season and is likely to have contributed to the lower numbers.
The number of ewes used for breeding also hit a record low. Breeding ewes made up 39 per cent of the Scottish sheep flock and their numbers decreased by four per cent to 2.6 million over the past year.